including this excellent article by Sonya Green from Western
Australia. I appreciate her open and refreshing style
of explaining how stress (and our thougths, our language)
affect our health. This furthers our understanding of
the mind/body connection.
Reduction and Management
How Fear Worry and Obsessive Negative thoughts destroy
your health and happiness.
by Sonya Green, ReinventingMyself.com
has become the “It" word of the century. Stress
reduction, stress management, adrenal exhaustion, chronic
fatigue syndrome. Everyone is stressed. Stress appears
to be the number one killer in the Western world. Most
illness and disease is bought on by stress or at the very
least, recovery or healing is impeded by stress. We are
told that families are breaking down under stress and
most accidents are caused by stress. Anxiety attacks,
phobias and depression are all stress related. Heart disease,
diabetes, chronic fatigue, allergies, high blood pressure
and headaches are just a few of the commonly listed complaints
that originate from stress. It is now widely believed,
and well researched, that almost all disease and illness
has a stress related component.
Because the word stress has become so overused, we appear
to be indifferent to it, or perhaps we don’t fully
understand the meaning of what it is or how it's effects
relate to our health (both mental and physical).
Let’s first look at stress as a good thing. It is
like a fire alarm within your body. When the alarm goes
off, you immediately stop what you are doing and instantly
your total awareness is focused on danger. Your full attention
Confirming if the fire exists;
Protecting yourself and your property;
Alerting others to the danger; and
Preparing to run or fight.
Stress is the body’s alarm bell. If you are in danger,
your stress reaction not only alerts you to the danger,
but actually shuts down some of your bodily functions
whilst it speeds up or activates other more urgently
needed bodily functions. Your mind will stop all thinking
except for a heightened alertness to the danger. Your
heart will pump hard and fast in preparation for great
physical exertion, and your muscles will tighten to protect
you from being hurt or prepare you to attack or run.
Many chemicals will flood your body and most body functions
that are not a matter of life or death will be closed
down or minimized. This is fantastic, as you become super
powerful and super alert. Many people who experience a
traumatic event, such as a car accident, have no memory
of that event. This is because the event subjects your
body to extreme stress. Often before a car crash, the
mind and body are so focused on the crash, that the mind
goes completely into automatic pilot and rarely do people
remember the actual impact. You may have heard of or experienced
“going into shock”. This is another example
of how the mind completely blocks out everything and behaviour
becomes unconscious and automatic. You may not remember
a trauma for hours, days, or even longer, as your mind
sorts and gathers the information, to protect you from
such an overload. Stress protects you and, in the appropriate
situation, is a wonderful and amazing thing.
Good stress can also be found in happy events. For example,
in the birth of a child, a new job, a wedding, holidays,
or moving house. If you need to sing, or speak in public,
you may also experience stress. Stress in these situations
can be very helpful as it brings about a heightened mental
alertness and increased energy. Stress when working appropriately
is a very good thing. Appropriately simply means that
your reserve tank is used for emergency purposes. When
the event is over the body is given time to return to
normal function and be replenished.
Going back to the fire alarm analogy, imagine a city hospital.
Within the hospital are hundreds of staff members, patients,
and visitors. The prime purpose of a hospital may be surgery,
so you may consider the doctors, nurses, and anaesthesiologists
as the priority people. The machinery and pharmacy are
also priority components. Within the system you also have
cleaners, administrators, gardeners, canteen staff, orderlies,
and laundry workers, etc. The smooth running and total
efficiency of the hospital relies on all of these things
working together. Although we usually only think about
the surgeons and the emergency rooms within a hospital,
it is pretty clear that all the services need to work
well together for the hospital to function effectively.
Now imagine if the fire alarm of the hospital is sounded
every day for a month. Every time the alarm rings all
tasks stop and everyone needs to leave the building. Things
like the laundry and canteen become very unimportant as
everyone's attention is directed to the safety of the
patients. Everyone within the system would prioritize
their reaction to protecting or evacuating the patients.
Now, consider if every alarm were a false alarm, by the
end of the month, the whole system would be in disarray.
Hopefully no lives would be lost and the priorities within
the hospital met, but imagine the impact on all the less
important parts. Another outcome from this false alarm
and its repetition would be that the staff would become
complacent about the alarm. After so many proving to be
false, you would find that the staff would be less reactive
and perhaps get to the point where they simply ignored
future alarm bells. Certainly, they would not be as responsive
as they were weeks earlier. In effect, the alarm is the
same, the danger is the same, but the reaction has changed.
This is how stress works within our body: Initially the
body will take energy from the less urgent bodily functions
and increase energy to the more urgent bodily functions.
If this is continued over a period of time, those less
urgent but very necessary functions become greatly effected.
The snowball effect of this is that ultimately the entire
body becomes exhausted, allowing disease and illness to
start their takeovers. We eventually get to the point
where we no longer listen to the warnings or become indifferent
to the discomfort. Many people live with extreme stress
every day, but no longer recognize or respond to it. These
people feel normal because the stress has become a habit.
Stress is using your reserve tank. It will save your life
when necessary, but if you are continually left to run
on empty it will blow your motor.
Please understand that when I address less urgent bodily
functions I am not suggesting they are unimportant. Every
function is necessary to health and well-being. Prolonged
stress shuts down or speeds up these functions, which
should be humming along at the right speed. Imagine running
a car with no oil, little air in the tyres, a dry radiator,
and faulty spark plugs. Then imagine if you plant your
foot on the accelerator at every green light and slam
on the brakes at every red light. These may be considered
little things, but you know that this car is about to
have some major problems.
Obvious stress, when your heart is pumping, your hands
are sweating or cold, your body becomes frozen, and your
voice is an octave higher, is easily recognized;
Lying alone in the dark at night, hearing footsteps outside
your bedroom door.
Realizing your brakes have failed, as you approach a red
light on the freeway
Having a dentist’s drill touching a nerve in your
Living in a dysfunctional home.
Working for a monster boss.
Long-term illness or pain.
Most of us cope with obvious stress. Obvious stress is
usually over in a short period of time and is appropriate
stress. It's like having a big brother and a gang of his
mates, stepping in to get you out of trouble. Appropriate
stress gives you super strength and heightened alertness.
When the danger has passed you will feel very tired, you
may feel shaky and angry, but then you'll calm down and
return to normal. Prolonged stress is harmful, but we
usually adapt in some way or ultimately remove the stress
or ourselves from the source. If left unchecked it will
eat away at you over time and will certainly become a
problem. Prolonged stress, is stress that you don't take
care of, as soon as you should. It's often stress by choice
Silent but deadly stress.
This is the most insidious and constant stress. This is
fear and worry.
Silent but deadly stress is where I really want you to
pay attention. The most important thing to know about
fear and worry is that to your sub-conscious mind the
fear is real.
When you are deep in thought your mind is reading that
information visually and emotionally. The sub-conscious
is not logical or rational, it simply records and files
information. The filing system works by priority. The
more often information comes in that is the same or similar,
the more often it will be added to that storage compartment.
Many of our random thoughts are stored far, far, away
or perhaps even dumped completely. However, if same or
similar information keeps coming in, the brain will consider
this information to be important. It will also consider
it to be true.
The mind will create emotional or physical reactions to
information. Take as an example when you are watching
a thriller or horror movie. Your conscious mind knows
it’s a movie, but your subconscious does not. Your
heart begins to pound, your breathing becomes fast or
shallow, and you may experience Goosebumps or even scream.
This is because your mind is living this information.
Watching an erotic movie can bring about a physical sexual
response. Hearing a song on the radio can bring you to
tears as you remember an old friend or lover. It’s
important to understand this, as fear and worry will have
you believing that these events are happening to such
a degree that you are constantly putting your emotions
and body into living and experiencing things that are
When you lie in bed at night worrying about bills and
debt, your emotional world is actually living in poverty.
When the kids are out on a Saturday night, your emotional
world is living through car accidents or muggings. When
your headache is imagined as a brain tumour, your mind
is constantly processing all your fears and worries and
believing them to be true. We are aware that under obvious
stress our bodies release adrenalin, cortisol and other
hormones and chemicals, but are you aware that by imagining
danger you also release these chemicals?
Stress will also interfere with your immune system, increases
cholesterol and free radical damage, raise blood pressure,
and reduce breathing. The thoughts are imagined, but the
emotional and physical responses are real.
The interesting thing about fear and worry is our ability
to exaggerate and expand them. We never exaggerate and
expand good things, yet at the slightest suggestion of
something negative, off we go! Consider this; Someone
at your office mentions that they have heard a rumour
that there may be staff cutbacks. You go back to your
desk and start thinking, “I bet it’s me”.
You imagine telling your husband and kids that you have
lost your job. You imagine getting behind in the mortgage
and losing your home. Your mind starts up a conversation
with your husband and you’re totally lost in this
argument in your head.
You imagine your marriage suffering and taking the kids
out of school. Your mind then shifts to a new argument
with your boss. Boy, are you telling him what you really
think. Out comes all the victimization and lack of respect
and appreciation, as you remind him of how much you’ve
sacrificed for the company.
By lunchtime you are sitting with a friend and the entire
hour is spent discussing your impending dismissal and
the hardships ahead. Your shoulders are tight, you cannot
eat and a headache is coming on. You decide to storm back
into the office and quit. You are now so angry you want
the final say and you want to at least have a final swipe
at the boss. Luckily, the initial rumour teller catches
you at the door and lets you know that the rumour is untrue.
This is an example of how we exaggerate and expand negativity
and also illustrates how your sub-conscious mind produces
emotional and physical responses to fear and worry. When
your mind believes, your body and behaviour will react
as if it were really happening.
The Chattering Monkey
The chattering monkey sits on your shoulders and chatters
non-stop in your ear. This is the head conversation we
have while driving the car or lying in bed at night. The
previous example is a common scenario of the chattering
monkey. The chattering monkey takes a slight negative
remark and engages your mind in a long discussion with
amazing exaggeration. The chattering monkey will always
convince you of the absolute worst outcome to the slightest
problem. We all do it and we all do it a lot
Take a 30 minutes drive on your own and I’ll bet
you are totally oblivious to the journey. In those 30
minutes, you are engaged in conversation with the chattering
You leave the house thinking your husband was quiet this
morning. The chattering monkey comes in and the discussion
goes something like this: First, he’ll exaggerate
it; Your Husband is quiet all the time lately, maybe he
is seriously ill or perhaps he is having problems at work"
"Maybe he has lost interest in you?" "He’s
having an affair"
"He takes you for granted, and he does not love you."
The chattering Monkey always likes to go back into history
and search out similar events and add them to the argument.
You think about last week, last month and last year. Now
you have a list of concerns about your husband’s
quiet mood. In fact it’s not a quiet mood anymore,
it’s abandonment, aloofness and indifference. He’s
selfish and takes you for granted. You add up all the
good things you do for him and you add up all the rotten
things he does to you.
In your mind you are having a full on argument with your
husband; he says and you say… This example also
shows that thoughts create emotions and emotions create
physical and mental reactions. As far as your body is
concerned you have just been in a fight with your husband.
You are angry, hurt and afraid, your muscles are tight,
your head aches and you feel like crying, your blood pressure
is up and you are exhausted. When you arrive home your
husband is happy to see you and you realize he was simply,
quiet this morning for no reason at all.
The chattering monkey also loves to expand your negativity
into your history. You find yourself pulling every similar
event since childhood into the current problem.
Imagine if the chattering Monkey worked on positive thoughts.
Imagine if every time something good happened or something
nice was said, we could exaggerate and add to it. Imagine
driving along thinking; "I am really loved and everyone
I know respects, admires and supports me." Think
about the great person you are and go back a week, a month
or a year and gather every great thing that you can think
of. How often would you exaggerate it?
Unfortunately we do not do this. Consider spending the
next week observing your own chattering monkey. See how
easy it is to engage in head conversations that are extremely
exaggerated when they are negative and watch how rarely
we do the same thing with positive remarks.
Talking with the chattering monkey is probably the most
stressful thing we do. It’s stressful because it’s
a habit, and it's constant. The number one cause of depression
and anxiety is the chattering monkey. This is because
the chattering monkey takes small problems and allows
the mind to exaggerate them into the worst possible scenario.
You will rarely if ever have situations in your real life
that come anywhere close to the horror your mind can create.
If your memory was good enough, you could add up the actual
crises you had last year and then add up the imagined
ones. Your emotional and physical responses to both are
the same. Remember the mind does not separate real from
If we could eliminate imagined crises, dealing with real
problems would be a breeze. I would suggest that as much
as 90% of our stress comes from an imagined source. Can
you imagine how healthy, happy, and productive you could
be if you just killed the chattering monkey? (Please read
this paragraph again)
The Chattering Monkey has a cousin. Equally diabolical
and It’s known as Media.
The Media lives in your home and provides your mind with
every type of fear, worry, anxiety and negativity. The
Media will convince you that you’re not good enough
and feed you a constant diet of self-doubt, comparisons
The average person in today’s world starts the day
with a newspaper or radio news broadcast. The mind has
absorbed a murder, a political dispute, a terrorist attack,
a new disease, a few robberies and a car chase before
you leave for work.
You drive to work, the radio is on, and you now listen
to these again.
You arrive at work and your colleagues for some reason
mention the news they heard (like you didn’t!) and
engage you in a conversation about the murder, the terrorist
attack, the new disease, etc.
Driving home you listen to the radio and of course the
news is back again. You're now feeling like there are
lots of murders and diseases is everywhere. You wonder
if that cough is a new virus, you lock the car doors as
you think about car jacking.
How do you feel?
You eat dinner in front of the TV watching the news, you
eat desert watching a current affairs program and then
watch a criminal investigation show. How do you feel?
Not to mention the ads. "Is your deodorant letting
you down? Is your kitchen alive with germs? Do you have
the right insurance? Are you looking good? Are your kids
Most of these subliminal messages are designed to encourage
you to buy things. They are geared to instil fear and
insecurity in you. Are you buying this? Think about the
amount of negative input you are absorbing.
Negative thinking creates negative feelings which create
negative responses and negative behaviour.
Negative thoughts are the other silent deadly stress.
Are you brave enough to let it go?
There is no person and no event that will ever be as ruthless
to you as your own thoughts. You may have been devastated
by events in your life, but you are the only one who chooses
to relive them over and over. No matter how terrible it
was to have your heart broken 10 years ago, it is not
nearly as terrible as the fact that you have relived it
and kept it in your mind ever since.
You may have been bullied, abused, humiliated or assaulted
and yes these are terrible things, but compared to how
often we relive these experiences and how exaggerated
they have become within us, you can only ask; "Who
is the real enemy? Who is causing the pain now?
Implode or Explode.
Have you ever seen a building implode? A number of explosives
are placed in strategic places so that when they
are set off the building collapses into itself. It's the
opposite of explode. Exploding comes from the inside and
blows out whilst imploding collapses into itself. When
you implode a building it usually does not affect the
surrounding buildings but it is itself totally annihilated.
Women tend to implode and men to explode. Stress has many
faces; it may be fear, guilt, insecurity, worry, anger,
irritation, impatience, self-doubt or any one of the negative
emotions. Unlike obvious stress, Imploding stress is a
constant supply of stress which is sucked down and swallowed.
Everyday things, such as, bad service in a shop, waiting
too long on hold, disrespectful comments, and lack of
appreciation, are sources of imploding stress. Certainly
big stresses can be involved, but it's more the build
up that I'm addressing here. When you implode you are
not challenging the aggravation, because, it seems
too trivial or you just don't feel assertive enough to
speak out. So, you keep silent and swallow it. When it
builds it turns to anger and then you implode. Women have
been conditioned from childhood to "be nice, be sweet";
by the time we are adults it is common to react by swallowing
Men, on the other hand, are commonly conditioned to avoid
showing most emotions. They learn very early that showing
their feelings of insecurity or fear is considered a weakness.
However, for some very strange irrational reason, men
are encouraged to turn most "weak emotions"
into anger. Anger is very masculine and acceptable. When
men feel guilty, insecure, worried, afraid, or impatient
they have an automatic mechanism which turns these emotions
Anger explodes. If women understood this about men, there
would be a lot less conflict in relationships. If you
knew your husband's angry outburst was fear or insecurity,
wouldn't you be a little more understanding and supportive?
Unfortunately, when a man expresses himself through anger,
most women panic and feel threatened. When anger explodes
women feel afraid or threatened, so they swallow that
fear and then implode.
Although Imploding is more common in women, don't think
that men don't do it. Of course they do.
When you implode you take your anger into the centre of
your body. This is often the cause of women's eating disorders.
Overeating gives a sense of releasing tension in this
area, not eating gives a sense of protecting this area,
some people manifest indigestion, ulcers, constipation
or stomach cramps.
When anger explodes it is very unattractive and frightening
for others, but at least it makes the angry person feel
better as they release it. (Unless they've turned it to
violence or destruction).
Imploding is like pouring drain cleaner into your stomach.
It eats away at you.
Imploding is usually related to not speaking up for yourself.
It's about self-disrespect and it's about taking on responsibility
for something that is not your responsibility.
I'm not suggestion that you go to war with every issue,
but I am suggesting, that you very quickly recognize when
someone is treating you unfairly or disrespectfully and
speak up for yourself, rather than carrying it in your
mind and imploding. If you feel uncomfortable speaking
out, then at least, speak to yourself and affirm "This
is not about me."
If you are treated unfairly or disrespectfully you need
to leave it at the original source. State clearly, without
aggression, what you think. Do not turn it on yourself
and swallow it. If someone is rude, critical, lazy or
inconsiderate to you, it's their stuff not yours. You
don't have access to their motivation and you don't need
to fix their problems. You do need to be responsible for
what you take on and keep.
Funnily enough, if you witnessed your kid being bullied
or treated unkindly you would jump in like a mad dog and
fight to the end. You'd certainly find your voice if your
best friend was being treated rudely. You are the first
person to tell others, "Well, that's not your fault
why are you feeling guilty?" or "That's not
fair, did you complain to the person in charge?"
Well why on earth do you not treat your self with
the same respect?
Ask yourself this: If the girl at the checkout counter
hates her job and converts that hatred into rudeness,
how is that your fault? Why would you be keeping it in
your head after you leave the store? Why did you not take
it in your hand, look at it, decide it's not yours and
hand it back?
If you seriously want to minimize stress in your life,
you must become aware of what stress is. Catch it at the
onset, name it, and leave it at its original source. If
you practice the art of speaking calmly and kindly in
response to inappropriate behaviour you'll be on your
way to self-love.
Too many people accept bad service, disrespect, criticism,
blame, rudeness, ignorance, unkindness and inconsideration.
Every time you keep silent, you are allowing it to be
acceptable. Imagine if everyone said in a kind and gentle
way, "I think this anger is yours, I'm not able to
carry it for you"
Even if you don't speak up, at least make a commitment
to yourself that you will not promote, own, or carry other
You could be making a huge contribution to yourself, and
the world, by fulfilling your obligation to challenge
and refute bad behaviour. When is it time to take back
your mind? When do you make the decision to be healthy,
happy, and fully alive?
So, What’s the answer?
It’s dead easy to minimize stress, nothing hard
or complicated at all. You will find it a little difficult
to be consistent. Habits take time and attention and that’s
all that stress is – a habit. A hundred times a
day you will be pulled back into your old habits, so be
prepared to be tenacious and simply pull yourself up and
re-direct your thoughts every time you drift back.
Apart from avoiding negative thoughts you need to replace
them with new thoughts. In a short time you can actually
re-wire your thinking to take in positive instructions.
Remember the thoughts you have create the emotions and
responses you have.
I mentioned earlier that under stress you release chemicals
and hormones but it’s worth noting you also possess
pleasure chemicals. When you think and feel love, happiness,
or joy, you actually release pleasure chemicals throughout
your body. A little natural high.
Meditation and Creative visualization are the most effective
ways to re-programme the mind. Both require a deep relaxed
state and cause a change in brain waves. This helps to
bypass logical thinking and accesses the sub-conscious
mind more effectively. By repeating certain instructions
or images, you are actually tricking your mind into believing
these great things are happening.
The repetition also speeds up the habit-forming part of
the information. In a meditative state the immune system
works more effectively, so you have the added advantage
of healing and repairing your mind and body. You can also
release any stress build up that may have been accumulating.
A meditative state can be as effective as deep sleep.
Your body can re-balance itself and restore it’s
energy. The added advantage of using visual images is
that you are using positive instructions to manipulate
your emotional world. For more information on Creative
Visualization click the link above.
To be stress free we must be healthy and to be healthy
we must be stress free.
You are what you eat. Food provides energy and every cell
within your body requires energy to live. The first indication
of stress is fatigue. Fatigue is the body’s wisdom
calling out for attention. Cells die off and are replaced
every minute of every day. The food you eat influences
the health of new cells.
Your diet can greatly influence your moods, alertness,
vitality and your physical health. When your body is not
properly nourished you become tired and depressed. Food
is preventative medicine and is vital to your body's healing
The wrong foods pollute your body and can be considered
poisonous. There is strong evidence to prove that certain
foods increase our protection from disease and illness.
The direct cause of may diseases has been found to be
nutritional deficiency. Much information is given about
diet and it has become quite overwhelming. Here's how
simple it is:
Eat fruits and vegetables everyday. Ideally, eat at least
2 pieces of fruit and 5 vegetables each day. Raw, unprocessed
foods are superior. Include oils but preferably don’t
heat them. Eliminate animal fats. Choose unpossessed grains,
nuts, and legumes. Eat only lean meat, in small quantities.
Make seafood a first choice for protein. Most importantly,
make food enjoyable and varied. Minimize or eliminate
caffeine, salt, M.S.G, soft drinks, sugar and animal fats.
Be suspicious of any food that contains additives, bleaches
or has been chemically treated. Choose fresh food over
tinned or packaged food.
Drink plenty of fluid
Ideally water. Dehydration is one of the main causes of
fatigue and headaches. Without enough fluid your kidneys
become overworked and you are less able to eliminate toxins.
Coffee and soft drinks can dehydrate and also rob essential
nutrients from your body. Caffeine works like adrenaline
so it’s like an artificial stress. Don't drink at
meal times. Your stomach needs acids to digest food, drinking
dilutes those acids.
Physical exercise breaks down stress in the body, produces
a sense of well-being and increases energy. Exercise is
particularly good for increasing respiration and circulation
and decreasing acidity. Stretching and toning exercises
help to release toxins and oxygenate the cells, strengthen
muscles, and release or ease body aches and minor pains.
Exercise also kick-starts the metabolism and helps to
burn off calories, improving digestion and elimination.
Many people hate exercising or simply cannot exercise.
For these people I highly recommend stretching, swimming,
yoga or walking. One of the best things I have tried is
the big exercise ball. It's ideal for the lazy person
as you can sit and watch TV and gently rock back and forth.
If that’s not do-able then at least take 30 minutes
a day and deep breathe. Deep breathing is almost as beneficial
as aerobic exercise.
Deep breathing is the easiest and most effective stress
The first sign of stress is tiredness. If you know you
have had enough sleep and your fatigue has no other obvious
cause, then it is probably stress, especially if you are
waking up tired. Other warning signs may be:
Lack of motivation: you just don't feel like doing anything;
Fuzzy thinking: your words come out wrong and your writing
is a bit dyslexic;
Feeling like you want to avoid people; or;
Finding normal conversation irritating.
Next level: Not wanting to leave the house or
staying in bed, headaches and muscular aches, food cravings
or not eating, allergies or sinus symptoms, skin rashes,
small things become very annoying, you become critical
and sarcastic, feeling road rage and great impatience.
You have trouble sleeping or are having bad dreams, over
doing caffeine, nicotine or alcohol (or the ones I’m
Up another Level: Your back and shoulders ache
and your stomach is tight, everything you try to do stuffs
up and everyone in the world is trying to get at you,
you cry for no reason, you are having bouts of depression
and anxiety, you catch a cold or flu, minor aches are
now pains, you feel like hitting someone or something,
take days off from work, feel like screaming if caught
in a delay.
Top Level: Blood pressure is up, you have pains
and aches, headaches, digestive problems, accidents, violent
behaviour, depression, phobias and anxiety attacks, constipation
and stomach cramps, skin disorders, hair, nails, skin
and eyes feel dry. You consider divorce and death, you
lose or gain weight, your concentration and memory capacity
is affected. You hate everything and everyone.
Some Extra Good Advice.
Attend to stress at Level one; Stress builds and accumulates.
Break it down and eliminate it when it’s manageable.
Own your own time: No matter who or what is important
in your life, you deserve and need some time each day
just for yourself.
Get your support network in place: Know who has the best
humour and cheerfulness, who is the most compassionate
and empathetic, who is the best listener, who is your
wisest friend, who will let you grizzle, ramble and act
like a madman without trying to fix it. Sometimes you
will need to be “jollied” out of it, other
times you want help or advice. You may only need to be
heard or you might like to let rip and sound off. Know
who to call. If you do not have people to fulfil these
rolls, then become that person yourself. Yes, I know that
talking to yourself is considered to be a sign of madness,
but really, not talking to someone when your distressed
is more likely to turn you into a madman.
Water: Bath, shower, or swim in it. I don’t
know why this works but I do know that it does.
Clean your bedroom: Your bedroom is your womb
and it needs to be a place to nurture yourself. If your
really stressed and your bedroom is ugly, it will feel
like your life is ugly.
Eat small amounts throughout the day: If you skip a meal
or go too long without eating, your blood sugar level
drops and it will feel and act like stress.
Have a glass of wine: In a nice place and ideally
with a nice person. Don’t get drunk.
Make up a “feel good” CD or Tape: Go through
your collection and only put on the music that you know
will pick you up.
Night and Day: Your brain needs sunlight and
dark. Many studies have proven that a lack of sunlight
can cause depression and a lack of darkness can interfere
with sleep. Sleep sorts out your thoughts and emotions
and your body does most of its healing during sleep. Try
to have your lights turned down during the evening.
Pity Party for One: A pity party for one is a
good old-fashioned cry. Get out all the sad songs or movies,
close the door, take the phone of the hook and spend some
time feeling really sorry for yourself. A good old fashioned
cry will clean you out and after your through you can
apply some of the other techniques to restore yourself.
Dance naked: (Do this one alone, it will scare
other people). Crank up the music, get naked and dance
until you laugh.
Hum or chant: This may sound a little "new
age and hippy", but having internal vibration is
like gently shaking your internal energies. It's also
a great way to breathe as the breath becomes regulated
with each inhalation. Vibration in the chest and throat
area release tension and tightness. Great for times when
you want to scream, but can't afford that amount of volume.
Have Sex:. This one you already know about. If
you don’t know about it, then don’t do it,
go to the next one.
Play: Go do something just for fun. We all go
through rough times sometimes, plan things in advance
so you know who to call and what to do. Make a mental
note of things you know that bring you up.
Get to the beach or out of the city: The quality
of air near the ocean or near trees is far superior to
city air and negative ions can greatly improve your
Do all of the above:
Breathing and Creative Visualization are the most powerful,
effective and easy things you can do to release stress.
Reinventing Myself Copyright Sonya Green 2003