It is now agreed that stress is not what happens, but how the person reacts to what happens. Stress in itself is neither good nor bad. It is a mechanism built into our organism, not for the purpose of making us sick, but to enable us to respond more effectively to challenges. The successful people who can handle stress effectively have designed techniques to manage the inevitable stressors in their life. You will note that the most truly successful people are not overburdened with stress. They actually perceive stress as an opportunity for learning and achievement. They also possess a disciplined self-awareness and the flexibility to handle excessive amounts of stress.
Individual techniques which they qualified as tools for developing a consistently positive attitude toward life included:
∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Deep breathing
∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Listening to music
∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Long walks on the beach
∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Traditional meditation
∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Yoga practices
The silent repetition of a meaningful word or mantra
Relying on stress management techniques alone to accomplish therapeutic goals is shortsighted. You must also take a good look at what drives your life. To learn more how you can stop cancer in your life, read Cancer Free For Life.
Find a purpose in life: Feel that you have a role to fulfill in the universe which gives you an unwavering commitment to your values. The stress management techniques described above are only tools to reinforce your sense of purpose.
Victor Frankl: Man's search for meaning. "Man finds identity to the extent to which he commits himself to something beyond himself, to a cause greater than himself.'
Research also shows that purpose is beneficial to psychological health, alleviating such conditions as depression and anxiety and physical health and contributing to recovery from heart attacks and cancer.
A majority of people with stress-related disorders are actually suffering from an inner feeling of unworthiness that generates an impressive array of coping strategies all aimed at self-perfection. The person you think you are is actually a committee of sub-personalities, each doing its best to keep you safe from situation that threatened you in the past. Most of us still harbour the emotional ghosts or ourselves as children, frightened and insecure. Healing our guilt involves putting these ghosts to rest by giving them the love they need to let go of their self-protective fear.
Unhealthy guilt is an autoimmune disease of the soul that causes us to literally reject our own worth as human beings. Unhealthy guilt causes life to become organized around the need to avoid fear rather than the desire to share love. Finding out who we are is the very process of life. As long as we are prisoners of guilt, we cannot discover who we are, we are too busy with people-pleasing, and our addiction to perfection, to really live each moment as it happens. The question is not how we will die, but how we will live.
Our inner critic tells us that we never good enough, never worthy of our own love. In spite of all our achievements, peace and acceptance remain elusive, and we are guilty and stressed. We have forgotten who we really are. We are searching for our worthiness in all the wrong places. We forget that we access our real identity whenever the mind becomes quiet and we are fully present in the moment. But whenever our guard is down, yielding to the majesty of a sunset, the caress of a breeze, the silence of a heartfelt hug, we re-experience the inner current of joy and love that is always present. After all, what else can mobilize us to overcome the inertia of day-to-day life? It's the crisis and pain which are the universal awakeners. In facing our dark parts, the disowned parts of our being that we thought were unworthy of love; we learn to live whole, authentic lives. In the shadow, we find the power that allows us to live life with enthusiasm, excitement, and joy, the natural impulses lost from our childhood. In becoming psychologically whole, we mend our souls and become spiritually whole. We discover loving-kindness and compassion, the ability to suffer with.
By Laurence Magne, Dr
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