Sunday, May 22, 2005

Stress....The Body and Mind's Response

"Stress is the body and mind's response to any stressful pressure that disrupts the balance in the mind or body. It occurs when our perceptions of events don't meet our expectations and we don't manage our reaction to the disappointment. As a response, stress expresses itself as resistance, tension, strain or frustration, that throws off our physiological and psychological equilibrium, keeping us out-of-sync and stressed-out." - Doc Childre and Howard Martin

What magnifies stress even more is when one dwells upon that which upsets them in the first place. Rather than create a future that you want, you dwell on that which you don’t want, starting off a downwards spiral.

For some in the political world, these past few weeks have been a constant unknown. Day to day threats of the opposition bringing down the government, or, at the very least paralyzing it, was the norm. Change right down through the ranks took place hour by hour. For those in positions of leadership, it was a professional living hell.

My role was to work with them to see the perfection in the chaos. No matter what happened, they were challenged to look at the situation as living ‘history in the making’. An exciting time. They would deal with the outcome no matter what. These are intelligent, resourceful people. Rather than dwelling on whether or not they might have a job a few weeks or months down the road, what could they concentrate on that was in their control? What were they learning about themselves in the process what would prove invaluable throughout their lifetime? Then we started to play with the scenarios. Stressful attitudes turned to “I’m up to anything that comes my way and then some” attitudes. They were pumped, focused, energised by what happened moment to moment. My questions almost demanded that they look at themselves from the perspective of what they wanted not what they were getting. How could they build and create their future based on the choices they made right then and there?”

The difference between reacting and responding might be a matter of 10 seconds. Reacting is an immediate answer based on fear, tension and stress. Choice is not a part of the equation. Responding to the same situation is taking a proverbial step back, looking at what's occurring from a global perspective and making an informed choice based on the information you have at that moment in time. It’s positive delay….taking a few moments to calm your thoughts, looking at all perspectives and moving in the direction you need to go to deal with that situation. Responding all but eliminates stress because you have more control.

It grounds you….helps you focus…and from that paradigm you choose and invent your future.

"Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what's real." - Sara Paddison.

Donna Karlin

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