Feeling stressed out? You owe it to yourself to find ways to reduce stress in your life, for your own mental, emotional, and physical health.
Research has firmly established that stress weakens the immune system. When you are under stress your body produces adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones that can impair its ability to fight off disease.
At the same time, scientific research shows over and over how state of mind affects overall health. One of the more recent studies along these lines was conducted at Concordia University. It found that people who are optimistic are better at handling stress than those who are pessimistic. People who maintain a more positive nature, it turns out, have more stable levels of cortisol. Pessimists, on the other hand, have both higher levels of stress and more trouble regulating their systems during stressful situations.
WHAT IS STRESS?
At its most basic level, stress is an imbalance of energy, partly conscious and partly subconscious. The energy that you spend focusing on negativity and fear is directly proportional to your stress level.
Stress is caused by all of those little nagging messages about unfinished business in the back of your mind that pop up when you’re not in a position to act. Commitments that you have made and not kept, people that you have yet to forgive, and looming deadlines are all sources of these stressful nagging messages.
Possibly even more powerful than these factors are energetic imbalances like trapped emotions. These are remnants of trauma that have become stuck in the body, leading us to unconsciously choose certain feelings, thoughts, and expectations.
Many people don’t realize that they can have conscious control over the thoughts and behaviors that cause all this stress.
BREAK THE STRESS CYCLE
If you are looking for ways to break the cycle of stress in your own life, try these pointers:
Find peace through forgiveness. If there’s someone who has hurt you and you haven’t forgiven them, your stress level will inevitably be higher than it should. None of us are perfect and we all have reasons for acting the way we do, so strive for a state of acceptance and understanding of others, despite their negative behavior or difficult nature. The higher path of the spirit is to be at peace with the universe and with all our fellow beings. Learn to let things go and be generous and kind. You may think you are “getting even” with someone by withholding your forgiveness, but you are only hurting yourself. Until you have truly forgiven, you will not be able to find true peace in your life.
Don ’t forget to go easy on yourself too . How many times have you chastised yourself for making a poor decision, lashing out at others, being clumsy, or running late for a meeting? Most mistakes we make won’t affect us in the long run. In fact, by recognizing the value in our own folly, we can learn some of life’s most valuable lessons. Be kind and forgiving to yourself.
Choose positive emotions. You are the pilot of your own course in life and you can choose to make intelligent and balanced decisions. When you find yourself automatically being drawn toward the emotion of anger, for example, wait a few seconds and ask yourself if it would better serve you to change course. The ability to choose more positive emotions is something all of us have, but it’s like a muscle that needs regular exercise in order to serve us best. When you focus on flexing this muscle, you will learn to become more patient, and your emotions will enhance your life instead of controlling it. This can also help you maintain healthy boundaries with yourself and others.
Make only the commitments you know you can keep without stressing yourself out. Learn that it’s okay to say “no.” If you have commitments that are overdue or that you have been neglecting, try renegotiating, delegating, or cancelling them. This will give you more breathing room, and your stress level will magically go down. Respect your time, energy, and resources. Take care of your physical needs by getting enough rest and proper fuel.
Release emotional baggage . Try an energy psychology technique such as the emotion code. Releasing your emotional baggage in this way can help restore peace to your subconscious and correct physical imbalances too. This can lower your stress level by quickly getting clear to the underlying causes of negative emotional choices and nagging negative thoughts.
Removing these underlying causes of stress will also help your physical body to heal and function optimally, providing you with more energy to fulfill your commitments, meet your deadlines, and create a state of acceptance and forgiveness on a daily basis.
Bradley Nelson, DC, has lectured internationally on the natural healing of chronic illness. As a holistic chiropractic physician he has successfully treated patients from across the US and Canada for more than 20 years. His best-selling book, The Emotion Code, offers step-by-step instructions for working with the body’s own healing power. Learn more at drbradleynelson.com and emotioncode.tv.