Stress Relief is Like Taking Aspirin for a Tumor

Stress Relief at the beach

Put your arms out at 45% for stress relief!

Stress Relief is a really important thing to do to keep yourself balanced. But if you think about it, stress reduction or even stress relief is not really addressing the root of the problem. It’s important to identify  your stress triggers. You must learn how to change the way you view stressors, and lower the level of your reaction to them.

For instance, say you are driving in the car, and someone cuts you off. For most people that’s a stressor (which is anything that you allow to bother you). But rather than getting upset and feeling stressed, it’s going to be up to you to learn a better way to handle your emotions. Lots of times we get stressed out when driving because you are in a hurry to get to your destination. A better way to handle the stress might be:

1. Give yourself more time so that you never feel in a rush

2. Listen to soothing music, or a great book.

3. Realize that you might have done something not too smart (like the person who cut you off) once; and that maybe this person has just done the same thing that you’ve done

4. Feel sorry that they don’t realize how dangerous their behavior is, and it could get them or someone else killed, and then it would be too late.

5. Be grateful for you fast reaction that prevented an accident!

I’m sure you get the picture. Stressing over things is a decision that you make for yourself. It doesn’t help the situation, and in fact, your reaction to the stressor can have more of a negative impact on your health than the actual stressor itself!

When you practice stress relief, that means you already have the stress, and you are trying to deal with it. It’s kind of like allopathic medicine. That’s the kind of medicine that a regular doctor practices: they treat your symptoms, and rarely the root cause for your illness. They give you a pain killer 

So don’t fall into the trap of getting stresssed. I’m sure you’ve heard “don’t sweat the small stuff”. That’s what we generally do – let things get to us that don’t have to…

That’s why I love teaching HeartMath to people. It makes you more resilient. The things that used to bother you become less annoying. You become happier, and as you are happier, so your health and feelings of well-being improve. 

But until you learn that – you can always have a conversation with yourself, like being your own best friend; and remind yourself to take some slow deep breaths (in and out through your nose). Extend you exhale, so it’s like a sigh of relief. Then give yourself a little time where you clear your mind and focus on something that’s made you happy. And voila – your level of stress is a lot less – 

You can do it!