Stress management is thought management

Let’s face it since the coronavirus pandemic broke, life has not been easy for most people. Every day we are being bombarded with heartbreaking news: thousands of people confirmed dead, unemployment rising, the economy hit hard, lockdown fatigue, and political divisiveness; all these situations have the potential to cause major anxiety. Note that I stated that these situations have the “potential” to cause anxiety. And I make this statement because, in reality, we create and reinforce the anxious thoughts that generate stress in our lives.

You are well aware of how it works. You either turn the TV on to watch the news or click on a post on social media. And in no time, you get caught up with all the sad and devastating events happening around the world. You might even think, “some of these problems can be fixed now, some can be fixed over time, and some of them we have no control over it; so, who knows? What you don’t realize at that moment is that your mind and body switch into survival mode. The stress starts to increase gradually and accumulate until it reaches a level where it has to manifest itself in some way.

So, what happens when the mind and the body store all this tension? Well, a number of studies have demonstrated that stress attacks the body in multiple ways, it can trigger tension headaches; makes it hard to fall asleep, which can cause insomnia; stress hormones tighten blood vessels, which can raise your blood pressure; affects the digestive system, which can lead to stomachaches and nausea; and many other conditions.

We might even see a change in our behavior, like the increase in alcohol consumption, panic-buying, over-eating, aggressiveness, and even drug use. Well, I don’t have to tell you that all these things on themselves cause even more stress, which strengthens the anxious thoughts and physical symptoms, creating a toxic cycle that goes on and on.

Fortunately, you do have control over the most important element which can shift your perspective from a world of fear into a world of peace, your mind. In reality, stress management is thought management. You can control your emotions and the way you interact with the events and situations around you. You can control what and how much you eat and drink. You can learn to control your compulsive behaviors. You can even learn to calm both your mind and body. Believe it or not, but calmness and relaxation can also accumulate in your system and can undo the harmful effects of stress. And how do you do this, you may ask? The answer to this question is but one, by controlling your thoughts.

You see, externally nothing will change, the world will continue turning and turning. But the real change occurs internally, you can call it a change of mind or perception. When you welcome the power of peaceful thoughts and the strength of certainty, you no longer hold to anxious feelings or build up stress. You let go of what you don’t want anymore and focus on what you do want in your life.

Let me add one more key factor that is essential to succeed in this battle of the mind; craft your personal success formula. After working with thousands of clients over the years I can tell you with confidence that there is no such thing as a universal formula. Instead, you have to create your personal formula to be mentally fit and strong. Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources you can find online or in your community, some of them at no cost:

But keep in mind that this process can be hard because there are so many factors trying to influence you. So, step up to the challenge, train your mind, believe me, you won’t regret it. Once you take the leap there is no going back. As they say in the movies: This is the moment of truth.

Author:  Jose Incer – Self-Help Author and Life Coach

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