There are plenty of factors that create stress, such as work, tasks, health matters, relationships, and the affairs of daily life. Unknown to some, this stress harms our health, hurts efficiency, leads to exhaustion and if unchecked death.
You may ask? Can life be without stress?
Well that depends a lot on your mindset but if you ask again. The answer is yes! It can be without stress because you learn to control it.
Want to learn more? Keep scrolling.
Life throws chaos at us on a regular basis so you’re not alone. One study shows that around 50 percent of people are burned on a regular basis and spend about $300 billion per year on workplace-related stress. In response, we just keep on pushing through, surviving on adrenaline. So, what do many do? They keep overscheduling themselves; drink another cup of coffee; respond to one more email hoping it will drive away the stress and eventually be able to get things done. This is harmful.
First what is the normal stress circumstance?
Stress was never meant to be a week-day or, weekend-only experience. You’re really only supposed to feel stressed in a life-threatening circumstance. Take this example – when you are being chased in the savanna by a wild animal, your stress response is supposed to save your life—it mobilizes your attention, muscles, and immune system to get you quickly out of danger. When you escape, you come right out of fight-or-flight mode and into “rest-and-digest” mode, where your nervous system works to replenish their resources.
That stress response is supposed to be short-lived because it wears down your body, your health, and your energy. It also impacts things like your emotional intelligence and your decision making. When you’re tightly wound up, you are more likely to react to situations than to respond with reason.
The harmful effects of continuous stress:
You get to perceive the world differently. Stress makes us narrowly focused, preventing us from seeing the bigger picture.
High stress and anxiety or any kind of negative emotion make us self-focused. When we’re stressed, we’re less likely to notice if a colleague looks burned out or sad and more likely to get irritated if they don’t perform as we expect.
Since it hurts to be stressed, lets try the alternative- calmness:
Calmness is a mental state we should all enjoy – an inner place that lessens the grip of anxiety, worry, excitement, and troubles. You want to be able to know calmness and to actually use it. This is useful in moments when you’re tempted to jump into overdrive. Think of being calm as your shield – like a piece of protective gear you wear. An invisible shield that protects your energy from the toxicity of either yours other people’s negativity.
With a calm mind you’re poised in every situation, in daily life and in stressful and difficult conditions – there’s a lot of self-control.
With a calm mind, your thoughts do not run from one to another in a restless manner. Your mind does not follow every thought that pops up. You can choose what thoughts to think and what thoughts to reject.
With a mind you can think before you act, saving you time, energy and inconvenience of the opposite.
With a calm mind you can easily focus your attention on anything you choose, without being distracted or disturbed.
How to cultivate a calm mind?
Note that this takes practice.
Our breathing is a powerful way for us to regulate our emotions, and should not be taken for granted. Breathing is used to help veterans—50 percent of whom don’t see any improvement in their trauma symptoms from therapy or medication. Using your breath, you can change the way you feel. One of the most calming breathing exercises you can do is breathe in, then hold to a count of four and then breathe out for up to twice as long, say to a count of six or eight. You can gently constrict your throat, making a sound like the ocean, which is used in deep relaxation breathing. As you’re doing this, you’re activating the nervous system and reducing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Often, we are our worst critic. We think that being self-critical will help us be more self-aware and make us work harder, but that’s counter-productive in some ways. According to a good deal of research, self-criticism destroys our resilience as we’re less able to learn from our mistakes when we beat ourselves up too hard. Self-critical people tend to experience greater anxiety and depression, and an inability to bounce back from struggles.
What we need is self-compassion which is the ability to be mindful of our emotions, aware of the emotions that are going on inside especially when things don’t go as planned. Self-compassion also involves understanding that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s part of being human. And it is the ability to speak to yourself the way you would speak to a friend in a warm and kind way.
There’s a loneliness epidemic across the world and the global pandemic has not made it easier for many people. Research has shown that those feelings of loneliness are extremely destructive to our body and mind, leading to worse health and even earlier death. And the stress and lack of calm in today’s world may contribute to this loneliness because of the way that it tends to make us self-focused. The oxytocin and natural opioids that we release when we connect may exert a calming influence on our bodies, and the knowledge that we have the support of others can soothe our minds. When we face adversity, research suggests that our relationships and community have a huge role to play in our resilience.
Compassion for others:
As many of us have experienced, when we perform little acts of kindness, our well-being tremendously. When we feel compassion, our heart rate goes down. Kindness and compassion can also help protect us from adversity- even stress.
Enjoying a calm state of mind when everyone else is scrambling and crawling is achievable. Note that it isn’t about avoiding every kind of stressful emotion. It means that despite the disturbances outside, your inner mind takes control.
How do you feel lately? Ibiene would like you to share with this community. Just tap the comment section.