Studies from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s predicted that with the advance in technology we would have a lot more leisure time by the year 2000. How wrong they were. In today’s society we are expected to produce a lot more, of a higher quality, and as fast as possible with less support than we did 30 years ago. With the advent of the information age we live more inside our heads than in our bodies, that is we move a lot less and think a lot more and this is taking a major toll on our health.
The effects of pressure have become so prevalent in our life, that they have even
given it a label, Stress.
Stress is an internal phenomenon. You may say “My office is stressful”. “My shopping mall gives me stress all the time”. “You try having four kids and not being stressed”. Well folks they are all just contributors to the stress process but
they do not create the stress. There is no such thing as external stress.
Stress is merely your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about and how you behave towards, an external pressure. If you feel the situation is more demanding than you are capable of handling then stress will occur. See the Stress Model Below.
The three major causes of stress:
1)Acute Pressure. Imagine you are a rabbit bounding through the fields minding your own business when suddenly a rabid dog jumps out of the bushes and charges straight towards you. In reaction to this situation your body quickly puts itself through a series of
neurological, biochemical, hormonal and physiological actions, of which, all
are designed to help you avoid the dog and take care of your survival. The
body’s response is commonly referred to as the “fight of flight” syndrome. The
stress response in this situation runs it’s complete course in a relatively
short period of time. For example, the dog bolts out of the bushes and charges
at the rabbit (the external pressure), which causes the rabbit’s brain and
hormonal system to release a series of stress hormones (the stress response),
which enables the rabbit to either fight the dog or run away (the fight or
flight response). After getting away from the dog the rabbit’s stress hormones
return to normal and before long it is bounding through the fields again. This
is an example of acute pressure causing stress. The short term effects of acute
stress will be an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, body
temperature, sweat and also feelings of anxiety, nervousness and tension.
2)Chronic Pressure. Unfortunately in today’s society we as humans are not as lucky as the animals. On a day to day basis we have to deal with many situations that cause continuous levels of stress. Things such as mortgage repayments, traffic jams, family commitments and work deadlines are harder to escape than the rabid dog and often come back time and time again. This creates a situation where we are constantly stuck in
the middle of the stress response, where our stress hormones are chronically elevated. Although this is not as life threatening as being the rabbit and being chased by the dog, it can, over the long term, if not dealt with lead to obesity, reduced sex drive, weakened immune system, loss of memory and poor feelings of well being. If we cannot remove or escape from acute stress thinking then the acute stress soon becomes chronic stress.
3)Imagined Pressure. As mentioned earlier
the sub conscious mind cannot decipher between a real and imagined event.
Therefore even though fear is predominantly imagined it still activates the
stress responses of the body. If this fear is not dealt with it will soon
become a source of chronic stress. A large portion of stress is caused by fear
of failure or fear of success. Fear of failure ultimately can be traced back to
a fear of loss in some form, for example loss of control, reputation, money,
livelihood and even life. Fear of success on the other hand can be traced to
fear of your own greatness, which may actually also lead back to fear of loss.
Loss of freedom if I’m so successful, loss of my own privacy, loss of my
leisure time, loss of having a life.
Human beings are primarily motivated by two things; the avoidance of pain and the seeking of pleasure. The carrot and the stick. Imagine a donkey being motivated by a carrot at the front (pleasure) and a stick at the rear (pain).
To remove fear look for the root cause (the pain) by following the five steps to
removing dis ease mentioned earlier in this chapter.
FEAR = “False Expectations Appearing Real”. It is thought that 90% of all
fears never eventuate and the other 10% won’t be as bad as you thought and you
will actually be able to cope with them. However, you still need to be aware
that a fear is a negative thought, so the more you focus on it the more likely
it will manifest itself in your physical reality. Therefore it is extremely
important to always focus on what you want not what you don’t want!!!
The best way to deal with your Fears (or worries) is to list them into things you
can control and things you can’t control. See below
For the things that you can’t control, there is no need to worry, because they are
out of your control. They are what they are. Or whatever will be will be.
Focus only on the things you can control.
For the things you can control you need to put them into perspective. For example,
if this fear was to eventuate how stressful would it be on a scale of 1-10.
Once you are aware of the fear you can then begin to deal with it.
On a scale of 1-10 how bad can this situation possibly be?
As you can see only
1-2% of any fears are really worth worrying about.
For the ones that are mere inconveniences I suggest you
confront them before they create further dis ease in your life.
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking