Stress Management and Energy: The Background
We all know our signs of stress. What we may not know is that there are many health threatening brain, body and energetic changes that occur as a result of stress. Understanding these changes helps us to create an effective stress management program that will support health and well being in a positive way.
When we are stressed or threatened the flow of energy is increased to prepare for fight or flight. Those options while suitable for the jungle, are not great choices for modern life!
When we cannot fight or flee we override the impulses. The result is a simultaneous activation and inhibition of energy. This energetic contradiction is not useful or healthy for us.
The flow of energy triggered by stress is meant for short term survival.
It is not healthy. It should not be a preferred or permanent management tool!
Beside the flood of energy that has nowhere to go, there is another problem.That problem is that overriding the inflow of energy becomes an unconscious habitual stress response. Since it worked in the moment, the brain puts it on autopilot! What began as a mental and emotional event creates wear and tear on the body. The consequence of this wear and tear is the eventual breakdown of physical health.
Stress Management and Energy: Long Term Effects
If trauma or stress is repeated over time with no safe place for release, the energy becomes frozen. This condition of frozen intensity is known as tonic immobility or the freeze response. A portion of energy gets locked in the trauma and free expression is inhibited. This happens with overwhelming trauma, but can also occur as a result of chronic repetitive low levels of stress.
Stress and damage to our energy also occurs through physical injury, emotional hurt, or neglect of any one aspect of our being. A common example in our culture of this is the over development of the intellect to the detriment of emotional energy. Another is a focus on the physical or material at the expense of spiritual or creative energies. The latter add meaning, purpose and richness to life. We need balance of all our systems and aspects to be healthy.
Damage to our energy systems can also happen as a result of limited belief systems, conditioned responses, restrictive & exhausting habits.
Stress Response and Energy: Reversing Negativity
An effective stress reduction program includes five areas:
1. Exercise–helps dump accumulated effects of fight-flight
2. Meditation–brings body and mind into deep healing state that includes cellular repair and clearing mind
3. Personal Environment (inner life!)–belief systems, understanding and clearing personal history
4. Personal Philosophy— that includes purpose and meaning
5. Spirituality–spiritual principles that guide life and practices that express values
Changing belief systems, old conditioned responses, and re-balancing the energy system helps release habits more easily.
The result is that energy is returned to the system. now that energy is available to develop new more powerful ways of expressing ourselves and meeting the challenges of life.
The more we know about stress the better prepared we are. Then we can maintain better mental function, emotional stability and physical equilibrium.
How are you managing stress?
What can you do to reduce unnecessary Stress?
What would one step be that could help you to begin to develop a workable plan for stress management?