The American Institute of Stress defines stress as “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” This definition helps explain why people respond differently to essentially the same environment. In today’s work environment, typical stressors include:
- Working in a role that’s a poor match with your skills and abilities.
- Working for a boss or with co-workers with whom you don’t get along.
- Being required to work at a pace that is debilitating.
- Having no input into or control over how your work is done.
- Being required to perform tasks that conflict with your core values.
From the biological perspective, stress is a version of the primal “fight or flight” response that was hard-wired into our physical body to help our ancestors’ survive when humans, and our more primitive ancestors, were part of the food chain and needed this mechanism to survive. In those days, the epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine and cortisol rush caused by the “fight or flight” response was effectively metabolized by the physical activity it triggered. However, there is no benefit to employees in fighting or fleeing when stressed, although regular exercise is a useful substitute.
If not properly metabolized over time, excessive stress becomes physically harmful. Harvard Medical School reports chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Stress Reduction – An Inside Job
When we re-examine our definition of stress (“a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize”), it follows that, if we can increase a person’s personal resources, we can reduce his/her susceptibility to stress.
There are a number of techniques that have been shown to reduce their practitioners’ susceptibility to stress, including meditation, regular physical exercise, and mindfulness although, because of the need for commitment to regular practice in each case, it is common for those who start these practices to stop within weeks or months. Another related technique that can calm the nervous system when overwhelmed by stress is practicing deep inhalation and exhalation until the stress response has calmed down, although this is more of an emergency response technique than a process that will prevent future feelings of stress.
A Strategy for Reducing Your Stress
As someone who has studied my own energy and that of others for the past 15 years, I have experienced and observed the following truths that relate to discussions about stress:
- Stress works similarly to an allergic reaction. We have an innate ability to cope with a certain level of stress before it triggers a harmful emotional or physical reaction.
- Stress is like the ‘exhaust’ of negative emotions. Address the roots of the emotional pattern, and your stress level permanently reduces.
- Negative emotions are caused by chemical reactions triggered by our being out of alignment with what is loving for us. Because each of us is unique, what is stressful for one person is not necessarily a stressor for someone else.
This suggests the importance of your work focusing on what you love to do, as these positive feelings always reflect alignment with what is loving for you, which can also be described as your purpose. This is not to say that working for someone else is your purpose, but rather that the work you love doing is aligned with your purpose, which is always something unique to you.
A common mistake men make because we’ve been trained to take responsibility for others, is to accept work on the basis of the money paid rather than how much we like the work. This is a sure path to increased stress as we will soon feel trapped by the idea we will be letting others down if we leave for a more enjoyable job that initially pays less. However, the truth is that if you love what you’re doing, you will have far more energy and enthusiasm for your work and will become a highly valued and well paid employee in due course, and without the unwanted stress.
Energy Transformation – Fast Track to Removing the Roots of Stress
One of the initially surprising outcomes of my journey into human energy was the effect on my energy as I identified and eliminated my subconsciously held limiting beliefs. To understand this, you need to understand how the subconscious mind works.
The subconscious mind is like a filing cabinet which holds a record of everything we have experienced during our life, including pre-birth. Everything we have believed is recorded along with how we felt when we had that experience. The more intense the feeling relating to an experience, the more powerfully we attract experiences that match the energetic frequency of that memory. Intensely positive feelings will tend to attract our attention to experiences that can recreate that feeling, and intensely negative feelings will attract us to experiences that will recreate that feeling.
Because our memories are recorded subconsciously, we aren’t necessarily consciously aware they are affecting us. However, there are a variety of techniques we can use to identify memories that are misaligned with what is loving and purposeful for us and, when they emerge from the subconscious into our conscious awareness, their energy dissipates as we overwrite them with a more empowering and aligned truth.
As I did this on a daily basis, I noticed that this ‘inner work’ happened more easily and faster as time went by. I also noticed that this increasing transformational power also occurred when working with others, such that several lifelong issues can be fully resolved within just a 30 minute energy coaching session, always leaving the client feeling at peace and “lighter” by session’s end.
My practice today is really about helping my clients find what is unique about themselves and about their purpose, as misalignment with these truths is the ultimate cause of all stress. Always remember that you are here on purpose and with a purpose, and the sooner you explore your true identity and purpose, the sooner the secret to your happiness will emerge.
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