Stress relief tips usually tell us about reorganizing the external world, building in time to our schedule for some relaxing activities, for example, or starting a workout regimen, and those are important aspects of stress relief.
My objection to that style of stress relief tip is that the stress response happens inside my body in response to a thought about a perception that I am in danger.
The stress chemistry and physiology happen fast, in much less time than it takes to blink my eyes, and the stress response needs to be dealt with inside my body.
Professor John Gottman, in his workshop, The Art and Science of Love, talks about antidotes for what he calls Diffuse Physiological Arousal.
He says that if we feel ourselves getting upset, we ought to stop and take our pulse and if our pulses have moved to over 100 beats per minute (which can happen in perhaps 1/25th second when I see an expression of contempt aimed my way), we need to take a time out.
That time out for men needs to last twenty minutes because we go up the stress ladder faster and stay there longer, and while we are doing our time out, we need to be monitoring our thinking so that it is helpful, rather than righteous indignation, or victim thoughts.
If there is no saber tooth tiger leaping at me as I open the mail, then I do not need to prepare myself physiologically to defend myself from a life or death threat.
However, you may just have a stress response to an unexpected expense, and that stress response will prepare you to defeat the piece of paper that the expense is printed on.
You may stab it, tear it up, kick it, ect. which are all attempts by your body, by the way, to clear the neurotransmitters and hormones of the stress response.
While your stress response is a tremendously helpful physiology to have when you are fighting for your life, it is not so helpful when you are involved in an argument over expenses, for example, or just looking at a bill that is higher than expected.
I think that stress physiology can become a habit, in other words, I can get used to keeping a little adrenalin and a little cortisol dripping into my blood, and I may do that because I can use that energy for more production at work for example.
But there is a downside to that, when I get fatigued, and attempt to stay awake or alert, I am prone to make mistakes, so the best stress relief tip I have for you is too...
So what does that mean?
Ever heard of EEG biofeedback? If you haven't, EEG or brain wave biofeedback, is a way to train attentional styles/skills working with brain waves which cycle anywhere from maybe 4 to 42 cycles per second.
That is a brief period of time per cycle, and our brains can learn to do this.
EEG biofeedback has some extraordinary impact on alcoholism and epilepsy, to name two, so sobriety can actually become a brainwave by brainwave process.
So can you imagine working and resting heart beat by heart beat?
There is now a heart rate variability biofeedback program which you can use to train your heart to beat coherently, the time between beats is very consistent is what beating coherently means, and the hormonal bath that I have internally with the Heartmath program is DHEA as opposed to adrenalin and cortisol, which are stress hormones. (That is stress relief).
Heartmath is based on research from a new field of study, neurocardiology, which is the study of the hearts own nervous system.
Your heart actually has an intelligence of its own, and can learn and make decisions independently of any other brain I have.
Heartmath is a program that I install on my computer, and practice.
It took me about six one-half hour practices to achieve significant coherence, and I have had no client take more than ten one-half hour practices to learn how to do Heartmath.
Heartmath is a feel good process too, so learning Heartmath means I learn to manage my stress heart beat by heart beat.
In fact, I like to practice my Heartmath physiology every five minutes for two heart beats just because I can.
I am training my body to feel good and be relaxed, which does not mean not perform.
Doing Heartmath has tremendous applicability to athletics and studies and to my brain fitness, which means being in a relaxed, externally aware state of attention and physiology actually opens the higher perceptual centers in my brain.
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.