Stress is simply the Flight Or Fight Response. It’s nature’s way of protecting us from danger. The only thing you really need to know is that your imagination can set off this massive biological reaction.
That means you don’t need a sabre-toothed-tiger to set it off. All you have to do is think about one!
That means worry, guilt, anger, fear and everything between can make you stressed. But, the Flight or Fight Response was nature’s way of keeping us safe from danger. Once the danger was over we relaxed again; went back to gnawing on an animal bone, grunting at our mates and waiting for somebody to discover fire.
Nature left us with a bit of a glitch though, and in the modern world we spend so much time swimming in negative emotions that our bodies don’t get the chance to reset themselves to a calm and relaxed state. We are triggering the Flight or Fight so often we never give ourselves the benefit of sitting down and gnawing at the bone.
We move from one stressful event to the next. Bouncing through life like a pin ball, continually getting flicked back into it by some unseen force of apparent spitefulness.
On the rare occasion we do relax, it isn’t enough to effectively balance the stress we are under. When we’re stressed and we read a book, watch a movie, have a bath, etc, we’re simply not doing enough to dissipate the stress chemicals from our body.
This is where it starts to get interesting.
The first thing we lose when we get stressed is our perspective. We get tunnel vision. Literally, we become more focused so we can deal with the sabre-tooth more effectively. In the modern world this means all our mole hills become mountains! We just can’t access the bigger picture. We get cut off from our creativity and insight.
Our mind and body are constantly on full alert ready to fight or run away. But nothing we have to cope with is anywhere close to being as serious as a sabre-tooth, so the chemicals never dissipate. Instead, we go at our normal, everyday tasks like a bull dozer.
So busy doing that we don’t have time to think, or feel, our way to the best way.
Physically it’s just as bad. The stress chemicals surging through our body keep our heart pumping, our muscles tense, and our important systems shut down. This is NOT how the body is supposed to operate long-term. The Flight or Fight is supposed to kick in and kick right back out again. Not hang around for half a life time keeping us in a state of tension.
Stress has now been proven to be a contributing factor in most illnesses. It’s obvious, isn’t it? How can the body function properly if it’s that tense? To be well we need to be relaxed and at ease.
The body will always present its bill!!!
What’s more, stress is subjective. What stresses me out (my stressors) might not affect you in the least. What stresses you out (your stressors) are often misunderstood by those close to you because they can’t understand why you would be so bothered by those things when they aren’t fussed by them at all.
And here’s the important thing to know about stress – Every sign of stress is a stressor in itself.
For instance, the more you fidget (moving when you don’t need to) the more stressed you are.
But because we allow the fidgeting, it creates more stress because that unnecessary movement isn’t allowing the Flight or Fight Response to dissipate. This is the same for every sign of stress we have.
They all create more stress!
This makes stress insidious. It creeps. It starts from nothing and over the years slowly becomes a part of us. It’s even addictive. We don’t even realise we’re stressed.
For decades people used to tell me I was stressed, and I always replied, “I’m not stressed, I’m just efficient!!”
Efficient my arse! I was so stressed I used to run around like a headless chicken. Always busy but achieving nothing. I did this for more than twenty years and I can tell you that it’s a rubbish way to live – and that’s me putting it very politely.
After many years getting my own stress levels down I am now, more than ever, certain that eradicating stress is the single most important thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones.
Furthermore, it has to be the FIRST thing we do. After all what’s the point of achieving our goals if we destroy ourselves on the way? Or if we miss the glorious journey to our dream life because of the stress? Believe me I know; I have wasted half of my life that way.
Not only was my journey painfully slow, it was painfully unaccomplished – compared to the amount of work I put into it. So much time wasted getting stressed, chasing success.
Nowadays I measure success differently and time is my most valuable currency. Time to think, to rest, to play, to meditate, to create, to choose. Time to be me!
The absence of stress has opened me up to joy, playfulness, peace, contentment, self-confidence, better health, improved relationships…
The list is endless!
I don’t know of one problem that doesn’t get better by switching focus onto dissipating the stress chemicals.
Everyone I know who has taken this new approach has made miracles happen in EVERY area of their life.
And isn’t that what we all want? Miracles. That’s stress busting!
John Freeman is The Stress Buster!
He helps ambitious women ditch their stress and thrive in every area of their life!
He is the author of Vivid Visualisation: Success without Stress; he makes the world’s most effective meditation recordings; and is the creator of The Freedom Formula: a 12-week transformational program.
His Thriving School helps ambitious women climb out from under, and get on top where they belong!!
He’s on a mission to prove that our priority should always be to feed our spirit – and everything else simply takes care of itself!