Stress...There Is A Plus

Stress gets you going or can make your anxiety disorder worse. Why not let your mind's most powerful tool jump start deep relaxation to ward off depression? 

The 3 C's

To handle anxiety-filled situations, what works is calm, cool and collected.  But, feeling tense, on the defensive, can strike fast. And, take much longer for you to 'come down' and relax again.

Your mind can control how your body reacts to tension. And, can be sweet-talked into activating your very own body's relaxation response, a state of deep rest.

Deep rest does so much for feeling peaceful and refreshed, you'll be ready for anything. Silent confidence wraps itself around you. And, you won't sweat the small stuff.

What's the catch?

To dissolve stress, stockpile your very own best-loved ways to give your mind a break. Fly fishing is one of mine.

Stress-free Fishing

It'll be easier to...

  • Notice when you're tense. When you're relaxed. So you can do more of what makes you feel good about yourself.
  • Slip into relaxation when you're feeling out of sorts. And, take back control.
  • Quiet your mind. Have razor-sharp focus. So solutions breeze in, surprise and delight.
  • Handle problems in a snap. They no longer overwhelm.

Self Expectations

We constantly size up situations.  But, when feeling pressure to perform or 'fit', what you expect of yourself can make you feel very uncomfortable. Frustrated, you may be drawn to reactions which leave you disappointed and crushed.

Especially when you...

  •     Experience failure after failure reaching for goals.
  •     Have trouble coming up with ways to cope.
  •     Try harder to avoid stressful situations, with no result.

Learned helplessness can settle in.

Thought processes of learned helplessness show a pattern of...

  •     Giving up.
  •     Results no longer depend on what you do for yourself.
  •     You have no control.

It's the kind of thinking ripe for depression to creep in.

Sizing up stressful situations

Stress harasses your ability to adjust. And, forces you to find ways to change so you feel balanced and at peace with your efforts.

Each of us handles tension differently. What counts is what you think about the situation you're in. And, how much it matters.

To drive the point home...

Here's an interesting take on how men and women cope differently under stress by John Gray.  I'm not convinced all women react the same way. Nor, do men. As long as you know how you react to stress.

Does it come through as...?

  • Problem-focused: Find the problem and solve it.
  • Emotion-focused: Sort out the mish-mash of emotions tied to the situation.

They can be nail-biting moments. Understanding reactions to your anxiety disorder symptoms can help. But, you may not know how to cope. Or, think you have the 'goods' to make it happen.

The challenge is to stay out of chronic, anxiety-filled thinking. Anxiety disorder treatment, then, becomes an important tool.

What influences your mood

Beliefs are in the picture, too.


They are at the root of HOW you size up a situation. And, this influences mood.

You may feel upbeat, determined to get a grip on what bothers you. Or, feel beaten, letting what's outside of yourself dictate how you react.

For stress to be kept to a minimum and still be an advantage, beliefs need to be...

  • Accurate.
  • Flexible.
  • Optimistic.

The good news is...

Emotions can blur and be hard to handle. But, it is possible to review, re-evaluate, and change how you think.

You can gather more information about yourself with what makes you anxious. This ups your confidence level. Give yourself permission to have second thoughts on the matter. Creative solutions that please can miraculously pop up.

What you can pick up on...

  • The situation isn't as bad as it seems.
  • An answer you hadn't thought of before.
  • A talent you are thrilled about.
  • Other, more useful ways to cope.

It isn't a cake-walk. Beliefs, especially core ones, can be shadowy and hard to voice. That's where cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy can help.

You can, with a therapist,...

  • Draw out beliefs blocking relief.
  • How they hold you back.
  • Give them a workout to see if they're for real.
  • Develop substitutes leaving you feeling content.

Training your mind

The easiest go-to is a deep breathing technique. Wherever you are, whatever you do, it's there when you need it.

With a focus on a point 1 inch below your belly button, feel the air pull in through your nose, go all the way down to the spot and ease back out again.

The action itself is calming. Thoughts settle. Muscles in your chest and abdomen stretch more, release easily and the rest of your body loses tension.

The flow may, at first, feel strained.  But, stick with it. It will smooth itself out. The more often you practice, the faster a slow, quiet rhythm digs in.

But, physical activity, involving all of your body, gives penetrating, long-lasting results.

To feel settled and relaxed,...

  • Meditate.
  • Do yoga or T'ai Chi.
  • Use hypnosis.
  • Develop progressive muscle relaxation.

20 minute sessions are okay. 30-60 minute sessions are better.

The key ingredients? Practice and regularity.

You'll feel..

Here's the deal...

Stress can upset every part of your life. But, it's the perfect opportunity to let mind's most powerful tool activate your body's relaxation response. It'll then be a snap to come up with answers to cope you never believed possible.

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