What calm people know about stress
Two people perform the exact same job under the same conditions, yet one is stressed, overwhelmed, and hates his job; the other is happy and breezes through his day. How can this be? The latest studies in neuroscience show us that stress-related behaviors are hard-wired into the brain—they’re less about our environment, but more about how we individually react to it. When people in various high-pressure organizations tried meditation for stress, more than 90 percent experienced a change in their stress levels; more than 75 percent experienced improvement in creative problem solving, well being, and work and family relationships. Here are some ways to use meditation for stress that you can start now to train your mind to react to stress with calmness and clarity. Here are some more habits you should steal from naturally calm people.
This excerpt was taken from The End of Stress by Don Joseph Goewey, reprinted with permission of Beyond Word Publishing/Atria Books, Hillsboro, Oregon.
To start your day
Jumping out of bed and going straight through a hectic morning routine can frame your day in stress. Use this tool to put yourself in a peaceful mindset that sets you up for a positive outlook for the rest of the day.
Try: Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual. Find a quiet place to sit and close your eyes. Tilt your head toward your heart and follow your breathing, feeling each breath open your heart and enliven your brain with oxygen. Feel gratitude for another day with the people you love. Aim for a rewarding day. Tell yourself you’ll be positive and peaceful, no matter what happens.
To realize your stressors
It’s difficult to avoid stress if you don’t know what prompts it in the first place. This tool will help you acknowledge your stressors and shift your attitude toward them, giving you more control over your thoughts and feelings.
Try: First, acknowledge what prompts your pessimistic thoughts. Don’t try to change these triggers; simply observe them. Thoughts have no power if you don’t believe them, so tell yourself, “This thought or feeling exists in me, not in reality.” Tell yourself, “I could see peace instead of this.” Focusing on a peaceful alternative will help you perceive the world in a more positive way. Feel your attitude shift. Remember that although you have negative thoughts and feelings, they don’t define you. Watch out for these scary signs stress could be making you sick.