The "Stress" Monster
How we cope with stress depends on our perception of the situation.
We live in an age of anxiety.Â Inflation and recession threaten the economy.Â Children seem to be more difficult to deal with.Â Crime rates are spiraling upward, and the only thing that seems constant is change!Â Even our place of refuge, the place where we can ease the pressure of modern society, the family, has become a source of stress.Â With high divorce rates, remarriages and alternative lifestyles, fewer people now live in the stereotypical nuclear family, made up of father, mother, 2.5 children and a dog.
You can control your thoughts to reduce stress.
In addition, our spiritual lives are in a state of flux.Â Religious institutions exert less power over most people's lives, and the institutions themselves are grappling with the effects of societal change.Â The problems (stressors) of life never seem to go away.Â To some people it may seem like a monster that nibbles away at our mind and body.Â Why won't this stress monster go away?Â Stress is inevitable.Â Stress is basically whatever causes a change in our lives, being hired, being fired, funerals, weddings, birth of a child, and the death of a friend.Â Stress does not respect age, sex, race or economic condition. Everyone has it.Â You need stress in your life.Â Surprised?Â It's true.Â Stress can be positive or negative.Â Without stress, life would be dull!Â Stress adds challenge and opportunity to life.Â Stress is with us all the times, yet it is unique and personal to each of us.Â The important issue is learning how our bodies respond to stress in order to reduce its negative effects. When individuals are confronted with stressful events, they react emotionally, behaviorally and physically.Â Emotional reactions vary according to the circumstances and the individual involved. They might include anger, fear, annoyance, joy or pleasure.Â In terms of behavior, under slight stress people tend to perform optimally.Â Under severe stress, people tend to make more mistakes.Â Â Physical signs of stress range from fast heartbeats to shallow breathing, headaches to ulcers and overeating to loss of appetite.
Although stress is not an illness, it is known to cause illness such as flu, cancer, heart attacks and depression, too.Â How we cope with stress depends on our perception of the situation.Â What makes something good or bad is dependent upon what you think about it.Â Â For example, a parent whose teen has come home late may get hysterical.Â This parent waits up for the teen to arrive in order to vent his or her anger.Â Another parent, however, may decide that the situation calls for a calm discussion the next day and goes to sleep.Â You can control your thoughts to reduce the stress. The parent who stayed up to vent anger has excited the body with negative thoughts and fears, whereas the parent who has decided not to get upset has the kind of thoughts that will claim the body.Â That parent might be thinking, "He's all right where he is" or "God, protect him".Â Negative thoughts can release enzymes that attack our immune system, which can lead to disease. Positive actions such as laughter and allowing our thoughts to be positive, helps heal our bodies.
By acknowledging the fact that we as humans are made up of body, mind, and spirit, we can achieve complete, inner harmony by the practicing wholistic techniques that treat these parts of us as a collective whole.
How do we combat the negative effects of stress in the family?Â You must first work on yourself.Â Acknowledging the fact that as humans, made up of the body, mind and spirit, the greatest harmony comes from practicing techniques to enhance these parts of the whole person.Â The following are a few techniques of stress management, which use the whole person, or wholistic approach:
Mental and Emotional
Overall, a person with spiritual values seems to weather situations more successfully than people without such resources.Â Spiritual growth can change the way you handle stressful events.Â As you use these highlighted techniques for reducing the negative effects of stress, you may think of other actions that bring you inner peace.Â Family members will also benefit by your role modeling and by encouraging them to practice stress reduction techniques.Â The results could have long lasting, positive effects on family health and emotional stability. The stress monster is made up of life's stressors.Â The monster transforms itself into a friend when life's stressors are used as life's teachers for growth.Â There is a choice to be made: to learn and grow through awareness and control or to feed turmoil with negative energies. Good luck with your life choices, your dreams and your abilities to cope!