by Chris Lewis, MH 1-866-928-2873 www.ChrisLewisMH.com According to the National Institutes of Health, at least 70% of all illness and disease (including chronic) is either caused or contributed to by stress.
Their two kinds of stress, distress and eustress (pronounced “you-stress”). Distress is the kind of stress that most people think of when they hear the word “stress.” It’s what you feel when you’re “overwhelmed” or “under the clock” or when you’ve just got some bad news or suffered a trauma of some kind.
Eustress is what you feel when you’re getting married, having a child, working toward a promotion, riding a roller coaster, exercising intensely, or receiving a good kick in the rear from a caring friend or mentor. While distress is harmful, eustress can actually strengthen your immune system along with your character (and your muscles). Distress tears you down.
Eustress motivates you and helps you to grow and become more than you are now. If the only kind of stress you feel at work is eustress, consider yourself lucky! If, however, you’re getting a lot of distress – you’ll need an antidote if you don’t want to end up in the hospital (which, in turn, causes even more distress!)
- Having an escape from stress cancels out most (if not all) of the physiological effects of that stress. The catch is that this escape must be used on a regular basis. When you’re feeling the distress, excuse yourself, find an empty bathroom stall (most people will never bother you there), and take five to allow your heart rate to return to normal. Also, take a few very deep breaths, using your full lung capacity – all the way in, and ALL the way out – and consciously relax your muscles on the out breath. Do this for about 20 times. Also, leave work at work! Don’t bring it home. If at all possible, leave your brief case, business cell phone, uniform, etc. at your place of business. If you are in a line of work where that isn’t an option, then have a room where you can stash your business items until you need them tomorrow where they will be out of site for the evening. When you come home, really come home. A few minutes before you arrive at home, pull into a parking lot or park and breathe deeply for 5 minutes. Allow yourself to change your focus from work to family (or friends, or R&R) before you walk in your front door.
- Use EFT daily – if you need to, you can even do it hourly! EFT, short for Emotional Freedom Technique is a safe and easy treatment for stress, phobias, trauma, negative emotions of all kinds, and even jet lag. It involves tapping on acupuncture points with your fingers and works very quickly (almost instantly) for 4/5 people. You can learn the technique at emofree.com.
For a quicker easier way to learn it, sign up for my free email course, The Medicines in Your Spice Cupboard at: http://www.chrislewismh.com/ListMachine2 then refer some of your friends to sign up for the course as well with the referral link you’ll receive (please be cool about this and don’t spam anybody). As soon as 3 of them sign up, you’ll automatically receive a download link to a quick reference sheet and video I created to help you learn this super-powerful technique more easily.
Most of us keep items around our homes and offices (and even in our cars) that remind us of stressful or traumatic times. This causes harmful distress every time you see or even think about these items – and if you’re not aware of it at a conscious level it’s even worse!
I suggest you get rid of as many of these items as possible – sell, pawn, gift, donate, recycle, trash, or burn them in a safe container outside; or if it’s something you can’t get rid of, perhaps something that belongs to your company, then disguise it, redecorate it, requisition a slightly different model, or place something more pleasant in front of it, and if possible, do something to associate the item with a positive emotion – have your child paint it, wear it on a first date, or set a beautiful plant or picture on top of it – whatever seems appropriate. The goal here is to get yourself to feel good whenever you see the item. This may seem a little silly to some, but you will lose all your doubt as soon as you feel how wonderful it feels to be free of that nagging stress every time you look at the thing.
Need to get something off your mind? Put it on paper! Journaling is something most people have heard of and very few know how to do effectively. For this purpose, you can use any paper from a leather bound journal to a spiral bound notebook, or even a spare piece of printer paper. Now take your pen and just start writing – as much as you can about everything that’s on your mind; don’t edit, censor, or worry about grammar or neatness – just brain-vomit on the page! Yes, you’re allowed to destroy these later – which is why I suggest that you keep two journals, a nice one to keep and a cheap one to burn or shred later.
You might also want to keep a to-do list handy to write down tasks that occur to you during this process as well. That way you can give yourself permission to forget about these because the paper you’re writing them on won’t forget and you can go ahead and do them when the time is right.
I also suggest that you journal for a page or two each evening before going home, then you can either keep it or tear it up and put it in the recycle bin or paper shredder. This is yet another way that you can leave work at work, and make yourself nice and fresh for your arrival at home.
If you want, you could even try typing it out in a wordpad document on your computer, then just deleting the file. Personally, I prefer to use a real pen and paper for this purpose, but to each his/her own. That’s it!
You now have the power to neutralize the greatest single threat to your health, save thousands in medical costs, and flat-out enjoy your life more! Now it’s up to you. These strategies will only work for you if you use them. So go ahead and print out this article right now, and tape or tack it somewhere conspicuous on or near your desk. Have you done that? Go ahead and do it now before you do anything else. Good. Now pick one of these strategies that you are going to start using IMMEDIATELY. I would suggest you start with one of the easy ones like the five-minute escape or journaling to give yourself an easy success right off the bat. Then the good feelings you have from having successfully completed the first step will propel you into success in the other three areas. …
Now that you’ve gotten a good start, would you do me a favor? E-mail me at Chris@chrislewismh.com and tell me how things have improved for you since you started using these strategies – then give a copy of this article to a friend or coworker.
You see, I believe that when you have some bit of knowledge that has the potential to do some good in the world, you also have the responsibility to share that knowledge with those who need it, someone is entrusting you with this important assignment, otherwise you would never have been made aware of this information.