August 14, 2008

"Where The Mind Goes 

The Body Follows"

By: Dekesha Grannum

"Where the mind goes, the body follows" is a very common phrase. It also perfectly describes the relationship between stress and your body. Stress starts in the mind with your thinking. How you respond to a stressor is determined by your thoughts and perception of it.

Stress is a natural, built-in response. It was initially used to aid our ancestors in their "fight or flight" when faced with life threatening situations. The changes that occur in your body can have a positive effect in the short-term. The increased adrenaline and heart rate give your body the boost it needs to "get the job done". This can come in handy for the occasional work deadline crunch, or the dash to catch your little one before a fall.

What goes up must come down, and stress is no different. It's important to make time to allow your body to come down from the extreme changes caused by stress. Unfortunately, our society today has become so rushed that at times we can hardly remember to eat a decent meal, let alone take time to relax.

If you're like me, you may often put more "on your plate" than you can handle. You can start to feel overwhelmed looking at your long list of things to do, which can constantly trigger stress.

Here are two things that can get you on the road to relief:

1.)    Conscious Positive Thinking....

You are the one in control of your thoughts. When faced with a frustrating situation, you CAN make the choice not to get upset. Like many, I used to tense up and get frustrated when faced with things like heavy traffic. Now I make use of some natural stress relievers like calming music, aromatherapy and meditation to avoid that response.

Pay attention to your body as you go through your day. Create a stress journal by making note of the things that trigger your stress. By identifying and being aware of these things, you then have the power to change your response to them. When faced with a stressful situation, try focusing on something positive about it.

If you find this hard to do, plan something for yourself at the end of the day that you enjoy (a warm bath, your favorite treat, or favorite activity). This will guarantee that you have something positive to focus on throughout the day.  If you can't beat it, avoid it. Now it's impossible to avoid stress all together, but avoid the unnecessary situations that trigger it when you can.

2.)    Organize It And Control It....

The second thing that can help is getting organized. Start by planning out your days in advance using a sheet of paper or day planner. By writing down what you have to do in the order you have to do it, you give yourself a visual.

Once you can see what your day looks like, you can then prepare for each event in advance. You may even decide you don't need something, or that something can be put on hold for a lighter day. Avoiding the rush throughout the day is the goal. With pressure and the rushed feeling no longer connected to your listed items, you may find you start to actually enjoy them more.

Try these easy stress relievers when you need some quick relief during the day. Take a walk outside, pop in your favorite CD, enjoy a relaxing aroma, or sit quietly for a few moments to meditate.


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  NOTE: The content of this website is for informational purposes only. Consult     a physician before attempting any of the natural stress relief options listed.

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