Archives for Stress
Sometimes our emotions get the best of us. No matter how much we try to be aware of our triggers and keep calm, there will probably be times we simply lose our cool. We live in a day and age where people are consumed with daily pressure and overloaded with stress from work, family, finances and other obligations. What do you do to cope during these moments of stress and frustration? Whether you're personally struggling to manage your emotions or you know someone in your life who seems to be emotionally sensitive, practicing mindful awareness can be a tool for regulating these difficult emotions. Mindfulness is generally characterized as having present moment awareness, where we observe our current experience of thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental manner. Mindfulness has been shown to be effective for therapeutic purposes by decreasing emotional distress and helping to reduce depression - though mindfulness can also be a valuable means for dealing with everyday pressures as well.
The Easter holiday is here, full of bunnies, chocolate, and Easter egg hunts. Of course, Easter is about much more than bunnies and eggs, and whatever your beliefs and traditions may be, it’s a wonderful time of year to remind ourselves about starting anew, standing-up to oppression, and overcoming trials and tribulations. In our day to day life, whether it is our health, relationships, career, or finances, we can encounter everything from minor inconveniences to major obstacles. When these challenges arise how we deal with them reveals a lot about our ability to bounce back and persevere. Hopefully, there may be many things going well for you currently, but consider if there are areas where you need to do some work, or where you know there might be a tough road ahead. What can you do to stay hopeful and resolute? To assist you on this journey, here are a few ways to bounce back from struggles and be more resilient.
Even happy and well-adjusted couples struggle with stress and life challenges. When these difficult periods emerge it's important for partners to remain composed, positive, and dedicated to working together. One practice that a couple can do to grow closer, that is easy and wholesome, is mindfulness meditation. Specifically, Mindfulness-Based Relationship Enhancement (MBRE) has been shown to be an effective way to boost stress coping skills and increase personal well-being. This is adapted from Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, and serves the same general purpose of experiencing present moment awareness, and gaining insight into habitual patterns of thoughts, feelings, and interactions with others. When applying this concept to relationships specifically, it provides an opportunity to enhance joy, compassion, and connectedness.
We all go through difficult moments in life. These may be ongoing, persistent challenges we face on a daily basis, or more unexpected set-backs that throw us off course. During these times it can be easy to get sullen and discouraged, and neglect all the healthy positive experiences that can still give us joy and hope. Though when we're able to remember the blessings in our life and dwell on the positives instead of the negatives, it offers us a greater chance of coping with hardship. Research reveals that both positive and negative emotions can occur simultaneously during stressful situations, and that positive emotions offer adaptive benefits to help us manage stress and bolster psychological resilience.
There are many factors involved when it comes to suffering from depression or anxiety, and when taking an integrative approach, we would consider such areas as biological, cognitive and social circumstances. In particular, our cognitive domain including our perspectives, interpretations and beliefs related to ourselves, the world around us, and our future holds a great deal of power over our ability to manage stress and experience greater well-being. People with a sense of hopelessness and lack of control are particularly vulnerable to stress and psychopathology. We will go through difficult times in life, so having the ability to bounce back from adversity is crucial for building mental health and having life-satisfaction.
Think of a time you experienced difficulties and felt overwhelmed or burdened with your situation. How did your view of life and existence change? When we go through a demanding and trying time, it can be tough to cope and stay self-assured. Going through emotionally demanding experiences like loss and trauma often leads to negative emotions such as grief, anger, fear and shame. It can be difficult to overcome this negativity and work through the pain when there is no apparent reason for what occurred. If we don't work to heal and reproach our negative perspective, it becomes very difficult to move beyond the anger and grief that engulfs our day to day life. One way we can begin to work through the stains of our loss and trauma is to find meaning and purpose within the experience.
I usually am very effective at dealing with stress. Lately though, I've had a lot on my plate, and have been racing around to stay on top of everything. Frankly I'm starting to feel the effects of stress. We all experience day to day hassles and issues that frequently cause us some tension and concern. Stress is simply the body’s non-specific response to any demand made on it. If we don't deal with stress is can lead to fatigue, exhaustion, lack of concentration, indecisiveness, irritability, and even depression. Stress can contribute to illness (physical or psychological), and lead to accidents or careless behavior. All of this got me thinking about how I can deal with stress and keep a positive attitude during turbulent times. Here are a few ideas:
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” - Hans Selye (Nietzsche) Are you able to adapt and respond productively to challenging situations? We will all run into obstacles and challenges as we work toward our goals and aspirations, so being prepared to deal with them and respond in the most productive way possible is crucial to staying persistent and strong. Resiliency can help us deal with stress and persevere in the attainment of our goals. It can help us find benefits and opportunities amongst life’s difficult moments. Here are a few questions to gauge your level of resilience. Do you keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? A resilient person is able to maintain a positive attitude and emotionally deal with difficult situations when they arise. They are aware that challenges will arise and are able to make the best of them.
Do you have a demanding job, endless responsibilities, and just can't seem to relax? Wouldn't it be nice if you were able "let go" of the idle worries and concerns that come along with life's struggles? One way to experience the present moment and be more accepting and open to what life may bring is being more mindful. Mindfulness is the intentional process of paying attention and being aware of our moment-to-moment experiences in a non-judgmental way. It's about simply acknowledging what may be happening or how we may be feeling at the time, without becoming critical or emotionally absorbed in the experience. It allows us to become more aware and focused in everything we are doing without unhealthy attachment and concern. We no longer have to go through life on autopilot where we're bored by mundane tasks and frustrated by minor inconveniences. We can embrace the present moment, develop a tranquil attitude, and experience greater satisfaction regardless of what is taking place. Research even reveals that certain mindfulness based practices can enhance well-being.
When it comes to dealing with a busy and fast paced life, finding ways to deal with stress and making time for rest and relaxation is crucial. If we don't have down time for our mind and body to relax, we will ultimately run down. We are human beings not human doings, and finding balance between work, rest, and play can help us have better physical and emotional health, and find greater life-fulfillment. Practice simplicity Sometimes simple is better. With all the things we have to do and the vast amount of options for consumption, living a simple and minimal life will make things less hectic and more organized. Living a more simple life can help you keep things uncluttered, prevent running into conflicting priorities, and making room for what's really important to you. Unplug If you're like most people you are constantly wired and plugged in. We are constantly stimulated and interacting with others through the phone, television, and internet. If we aren't careful this can leave no time for relaxing our mind. Just as our body needs sleep for restoration, our mind needs a rest from constant stimulation. Set time aside where you can "unplug" and unwind.