Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beating Stress

Stress impacts you in a variety of ways. It can:

Make you anxious
Make you angry
Make you argumentative
Make you aggressive
Make you depressed
Cause you to be “uptight”
Make you less productive
Affect your relationships
Affect your quality of sleep
Affect your quality of work
Make you weaker
Affect your breathing
Affect your thought patterns
Affect your movement patterns
Cause chronic over-secretion of stress hormones, such as cortisol
Affect your emotions
Affect your heart’s health
Cause excess bodily tension
Suppress your immune system – you get sicker easier and more often
Impair your brains’ function, especially memory
Decrease your ability to absorb new information or learn new skills

... and a whole host of other repercussions that come along with repeated exposure to stress.

According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is a somatic experience. That is, you experience stress with your whole self, throughout your entire body. It’s not just a “mental” thing.

Stress has a corresponding pattern of muscular action that goes along with it, and this pattern of action is individual to you.

Some feel pain in their necks. Some feel pain in their backs. Others have anxiety attacks.

For that specific reason, there is no one prescriptive answer to reduce stress (i.e. – you need to work out to relieve stress).

On the other hand, however, there is a single answer for how to prevent the fallout from stress.

First and foremost, you need to understand how stress affects you.

In order to do that, you need to be able to feel.

To feel?

That’s right, you need to be able to feel.

Sounds easy, but most people have been exposed to stress for such long periods of time, that they have repressed the feelings and bodily sensations that accompany it.

So, in order to reconnect with your feelings (not just your emotions, but the sensations that come from your body), you need to slow down.

Slow down?

Yes, slow down.

Based around the scientific laws that govern how your brain takes in and processes information, in order to develop and expand your capacity to feel, you need to slow down.

Slowing down allows your brain to take in, and process, larger amounts of information.

You become more in tune with the sensory feedback your body is giving you.

And remember, stress is a full body experience.

So, when you are able to tune in better to your sensory feedback, you are able to sense much earlier when stress is sneaking up on you.

When you feel stress sneaking up on your sooner, you have a better chance of not letting it get a grip on you.

And if you can prevent it from getting a grip on you, you can be more productive.

And a less stressed, more productive “you” makes everyone happy!

What do you do to prevent the effects of stress in your life?

For more information on what “slowing down” actually means and how you can implement it in your life, send us an email and we’ll send it to you for free!


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

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