Stress Management

 

Stress Management: An Exercise in Human Potential

Why stress management? How often we hear this term, the twenty-first century’s way of saying, “Chill out” amidst the hectic, fast-paced modern world. There are so many buzzwords and confusing new concepts surrounding the sciences of “stress management,” including, “Type A behavior,” meditation, abdominal breathing, yoga, and bland health diets. Moreover, it often seems like doing stress management can be stressful in and of itself. Adhering to a stress management protocol can be time consuming, and seem boring and undoable in today’s busy world.

But there is a greater purpose for embodying the principles of stress management, as its core is about self-mastery and human potential. Most everyone wants what it has to offer, including the potential to be more efficient and effective on the job, feel more at ease socially, perform better in sports or in academics, and feel greater freedom and poise as a way of life. No one wants to feel “stressed,” “spent,” “wired,” or hypersensitive to daily hassles. Excessive fear and worry can make life unnecessarily difficult, impede academic and professional performance, and diminish social ease and grace. Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent today, and chronic stress can be a burden on health and vitality.  Stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, and numerous unpleasant bodily symptoms. Most everyone feels the burden of stress in one way or another, so the key is learning how to build up the reservoirs of human strength and resilience for the long haul.

What’s unique about stress management is that it encompasses some profound, yet easily applied principles used to master the “body-mind” consciousness and achieve greater mental control. Dedicated study to various disciplines such as the internal martial arts, yoga, and meditation can yield tremendous health and performance benefits all around. These are a worthy way of life. However, the simplicity of stress management is that a few easy strategies practiced regularly and effectively can help people now, including children in school and adults at their jobs.

A simple 20-minute stress management exercise practiced daily should help individuals to achieve the following benefits. 1. A quiet and content mind (a mellowing of racing thoughts). 2. Relaxed diaphragmatic breathing (reduces anxiety immediately). 3. Warm hands and feet (increased peripheral circulation which corresponds to decreased anxiety). 4. Relaxed body muscles (restorative / released bodily tension). 5. Mental peace and harmony. Long-term dedication and practice to a stress management discipline can yield wonderful healing effects and support greater resilience toward life challenges.

Forget long hours and impracticalities. Stress management is about trying simple strategies and feeling successful. Rewarding strategies can also be incorporated while the food is cooking in the microwave, or while standing in line at the bank. Stress management is simple and practical when properly understood.  It’s about breaking bad habits and getting rid of old ways of thinking that lead to stress.  It gives purpose to the day to be your best self, and make things happen the way you want them to. It can feel like a gift to take on a stress management protocol, because the more you apply it, the better you feel. The bottom line about stress management is that it is doable for everyone – children and adults alike, and it can lead to a robust, stress managed way of life.