How to reduce Stress and increase Health, Happiness and Success

There is a strange addiction spreading in our society today. It is the addiction to Stress. I call it an addiction because while many people complain about feeling stressed they seem to be unable to kick the habit. It almost seems to be a fashion and an accepted part of modern living. Everyone complains about it but few manage to become free of it. Is it really so difficult to quit stress?

For many years I struggled with the phenomenon 'stress' myself. I knew all the symptoms of stress, but had no idea of how to eliminate it. It was only when my health became affected that I started searching for solutions and identifying the roots of my stress. Soon I started to understand how it worked and what I could do to reduce it. I also started to realize how significant the interconnection of body-mind-emotions-and spirit was.

So lets take it step by step, it may get a bit technical so please bear with me.

What is stress and how does it work?

The word Stress describes a state that affects our body, our mind and our emotions. It is connected to the way we deal with life's challenges and demands. In the world we live in today, everything has become so fast paced that we can hardly cope and often the pressures become too much for us to handle. Fear and anxiety take hold. Essentially we stress out for two main reasons:

1. We perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful.

2. We don't believe we have the resources to cope.

How does stress affect us?

Stress creates a chain of hormonal reactions that result in an increase of Adrenaline and Cortisol levels increasing heartbeat, blood flow, alertness and blood sugar levels; our system is getting ready to 'Fight or Flight'. That is why stress can feel exciting or can be accompanied by anger and aggression. The addiction to stress is in essence an adrenaline addiction, which makes us feel more alive and powerful.

The bad news however is that in the long run the effects of chronic stress change the physical make up of both the body and the brain; chronic stress is considered to be the root of as much as 60 to 90% of all illnesses, including damage to the cardiovascular system and the immune system.

What are the causes of stress?

There are many. Some of the most common ones are: taking too much on board, poor time management, lack of focus, lack of money or work, illness or the loss of a loved one, aggressive behaviors, marriage, loneliness and poor self-image.

The main cause however, the one that determines HOW much stress any of these situations will create for us can be traced back to our mental attitudes, our ways of dealing with life, our believes and concepts. Whatever challenges we are faced with in life, it is our attitude towards them that will determine how stressful they become. And that includes the most difficult experiences such as loss of a loved one and illness.

Therefore the first step you can take in reducing stress is to identify where you 'Self Sabotage' yourself. Where do your ways, believes, concepts and behaviors contribute to your stress? I have listed some of the most common self-sabotaging ways below, feel free however to add your own:

* Taking too much on board - the inability to say 'no'.

* Poor Time management - leaving things to be done last minute, being unfocused or not structured and resenting yourself for it.

* Over controlling - it has to be done your way, you can do it best, lack of delegation, lack of flexibility, lack of trust.

* Poor conflict resolution skills - not expressing yourself or becoming aggressive when faced with opinions and views different to yours.

* Criticizing yourself and others - I should be better, smarter, kinder….., or to others : you should be ….., you are not . . . ., you don't……..

* Personalizing issues or blaming others by not taking full responsibility for your actions and decisions, turning yourself into a victim 'he made me….'

* Staying in relationships or situations that you feel unhappy about without accepting them for what they are or taking actions for change.

Once you have identified which are YOUR most common causes of stress consider implementing some of the changes I have listed below:

The Top 7 changes for a Stress free lifestyle:

1. Identify the fears and concerns that lie behind your causes of stress

2. Avoid complaining, blaming and criticizing, accept and embrace what is or take steps to change it

3. Organize your living and workspace and your time

4. Cultivate a supportive group of friends and colleagues

5. Use humor to defuse situations and learn to laugh at yourself

6. Take care of your body - healthy eating, exercise, massage

7. Take care of your spirit - practice breathing exercises and meditation

In fact, overriding all else, the most effective and quickest natural ways to let go of stress are through the breath and learning to calm the mind. Medical research has long confirmed the benefits of practicing breathing techniques and in particular, Meditation.

How does Meditation reduce stress and increase health and happiness?

The brain waves of Meditators show why they're healthier. Neuroscientists have found that the practice of Meditation shifts brain activity to different areas of the cortex (part of our forebrain) - brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. In other words, Meditators are calmer and happier than they were before.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on meditation and its beneficial effects on heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic pain, cancer, and immunity. Studies have also shown significant improvements in mental health, memory, concentration, productivity, increase of self-knowledge and being less bothered by little things, feeling happier and more successful.

The 'Less Stress, More Life' workshop provides effective Stress Relieve Training through incorporating powerful breathing techniques, modern meditation and key insights of how to master your emotions. For more details contact me directly.

With my best wishes for stress free life,


Author:. Christiane specialises in coaching Executives and their teams with managing change, achieving their objectives and developing their soft skills for lasting success.She is an EMCC accredited Leadership Coach & Mentor with a professional background of over 25 years experience as Senior Manager in internat... Go Deeper | Website

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