Stress can affect your life in many ways, both mentally and physically.  That is why it is essential to learn to deal with it in a healthy way and put aside the things that you cannot control … you have to awaken your zen side to be able to enjoy your day to day more. But we are not going to lie to you ; life can be tremendously difficult.

Sometimes life can present challenges, heartbreak and pain . Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it. We have no control over the world around us and the events that take place. However, we do have control over how we respond to these things. Our bodies are designed to respond to stress, and we’ve evolved dramatically since our caveman days, our brains are still wired to respond to perceived threats in a certain way.

Now, the kinds of threats we experience in modern society are completely different from those we experience as men and women of the caves. Fortunately, the days of coming face to face with a saber-toothed tiger are over. Today’s threats are more likely related to a bad-tempered boss or too many bills to pay. In any case, your body still responds physiologically in the same way.

Physiological response

When your body perceives a threat or an attack, your native intelligence automatically dominates and causes a series of changes in your body that bypass your previously rational state of mind. This is known as the “fight or flight response . 

Basically, a small region in the brain is released as a surge of hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.  Cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) temporarily produces glucose, which is released into the bloodstream to increase energy while suppressing functions in the body that you currently do not need, such as the digestive system.

Adrenaline causes an increase in your heart rate, and as a result, your breathing speeds up so oxygen passes through your body faster. Your attention and senses become extremely sharp, and you begin to sweat in an attempt to regulate your body temperature. When we were cave women, this was very advantageous and life-saving, but it is a bit unlikely to happen in every awkward gathering or social situation today.

Prolonged stress often leads to psychological problems, such as people feeling unnecessary anger, anxiety, and mistrust that can consequently lead to a breakdown in relationships. Most importantly, stress plays a critical role in the development of depression and anxiety disorders. Learn. How to overcome the unpleasant consequences of stress with the following five simple ways to increase your inner zen.

Conflict resolution

Interpersonal conflict is a fact of life. It is something that everyone will face at some point in life and is a major source of stress.  The term “conflict” describes more than just disagreement and refers to a situation in which one or more parties perceive a threat. How you view conflict plays a crucial role in how you let it affect you. For example, if you see it as damaging, it is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Conflict can provoke strong emotions and, if treated unhealthily, can cause irreversible rifts, bitterness, consequences, and breakups.  On the contrary, when conflict is resolved in a healthy way, it increases our mutual awareness, builds trust and strengthens our relationship ties .

The first step in reducing stress is to view conflict as a necessary and positive step toward development rather than a threat. This leads to the next step of emotional awareness.

Emotional awareness

Emotional awareness is essential to understand yourself and others. How are you supposed to resolve the conflict if you don’t understand what you or the other person is thinking and feeling? During a conflict, be sure to listen to what you feel rather than say it. This will rectify any previous misunderstandings and prevent more. 

You have to make sure you acknowledge the feelings of the second part on the matter at hand and communicate your own feelings clearly and efficiently. Nine times out of ten, if conflicts are dealt with in a reasonable and healthy way, you’ll be glad they happened … because they will make you grow internally.

Let go of the discomfort and forgive

Remember the fight and flight response we talked about at the beginning of the article? Well, when you are inundated with resentment or holding a grudge, your body is constantly in that physiological state.  In addition to the obvious physical health issues, holding a grudge can cause you more psychological pain than the initial act that caused the resentment.

Forgiveness is easier said than done and can be tremendously difficult to do, especially if someone offends or annoys you in a way that challenges your principles and morals. However, remember that holding that grudge will not change or solve anything. Forgiveness involves letting go of any anger or negative thoughts associated with the person and releasing the mental burdens associated with them.

Focus on you

Mindfulness is a mind-body approach now widely used by many to help manage stressful thoughts and feelings . Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment and becoming aware of your emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations. The more aware you are of these events, the more you can handle them and avoid becoming overly stressed.

When you find yourself stuck with your worries, stressed or anxious, try to return to the present moment using three of your senses: touch, sound and sight. Consciously slow your breathing rate while concentrating on the things you can hear (a clock or the birds outside), see (people walking or pictures on the wall), or touch (an item of clothing or the floor under your feet). It is a simple exercise , but it really works. However, it is not feasible to do this exercise without being present in the moment .

Laugh

If all else fails and you find yourself in a stressful situation, laugh. The laughter really is the best medicine and nothing makes you feel better to laugh with friends to the point where you tummy hurts. However, there is a bit of science behind breaking stress with laughter. 

When you laugh, your body releases a cocktail of hormones, including serotonin (the ‘ happiness hormone ‘) and endorphins (the same hormones released during sex), which in turn reduce the secretion of cortisol (the ‘hormone stress “) . So the moral of the story is to try not to take life too seriously, no one ever gets out of it alive … 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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