Stress – Friend or Foe?

 What if I told you that stress is not the enemy ?  There is well documented evidence that it is not the stressor itself that is harmful to our health, but rather our thoughts and beliefs about it.  

“People are disturbed not by a thing,  but by their perception of a thing.” 

                                                                                         Epictetus  

We have all noticed how the same circumstances can be interpreted as harmful, neutral or even beneficial by different individuals.  It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

The body’s physiological stress response –  the flight, fright or freeze response –  interferes with its natural self repair processes, contributes to emotional and physical pain, and puts our health at risk.  But the critical factor here is that the stress response is activated by our reaction to the stressor.

 The great news is that we have the ability to transform stress and utilize it as a positive force in our lives using the steps below:

  • Threat vs. Challenge: We become aware of how we are thinking and feeling and consciously change our experience – shifting it from threat to challenge. When we embrace the belief that this challenge can help us find meaning in our struggles, we create an opportunity for personal growth which fosters well being and healing.   
  • Anxiety vs. Excitement: We practice interpreting our heightened level of sensation as excitement rather than anxiety allowing the energy to flow through us instead of remaining resistant and constricted.  The body’s natural self repair mechanisms are free to operate at maximum efficiency. 
  • Choose Your Stress Mindset: Acknowledge that your thoughts and beliefs about stress impact your physiology and choose an empowering mindset.

Life’s challenges are opportunities to learn and grow.  We all have the power to transform adversity into meaning!

 “There is gold to be mined from every experience.”   

                                         Debbie Ford

Remember – YOU hold the key!

Elaine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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