‘Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be’. – Abraham Lincoln.
You might consider the quote as some kind of motivational, self-help fluff, but the statement is truer than you think.
Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that we humans are in greater control of our emotions and anxiety levels than we might imagine.
Science of Stress
From giving that feared presentation to late bills, all of us are faced with many stressors every day. This means that we are constantly living in a state of ‘high-alert’ – quite an emotionally overwhelming condition.
When we experience any kind of fearful stimuli, a part of the brain called amygdala gets stimulated. In a chain of neuronal events, stress hormones called cortisol is released. This puts us in a state of fight-or-flight situation.
The good news is that our brains can create new neural pathways. The idea, called neuroplasticity, means that our brain constantly forms new connections as new information gets incorporated.
What this implies is that the way you think about stress can change your neural circuitry. Here are some ways you can rethink stress:
You Have a Choice about How You Feel
There are unseen circumstances, like illness or accidents, that are bad and you have no control over them. However, how you take it and deal with it is a choice.
You can look at all the stressors in your life and get overwhelmed or you can face them head on, with a smiling face. You will do far better with the latter approach.
Focusing on the good things in life can help keep you in a positive frame of mind. You surely must have a lot to be thankful for – your friends, family, health, etc.
This approach provides you great strength to deal with what life throws at you.
Learn to Relax
With your busy schedules and tough routines, you might forget to relax. Walking, meditation and exercising are some of the techniques you can employ to stay calm and relaxed.
These relaxation strategies provide a better way of coping with stress and help you stay on the right track.
Look at Things from a Big Picture Perspective
Make sure you understand each stressor from a big picture perspective. For instance, some stressors are actually good for you, like getting out of your comfort zone at work.
This approach will ensure that you are allocating your time and resources in a productive manner.
Rekha Shrivastava, one of the leading hypnotists and rehabilitation counselors in New York, offer hypnosis sessions for stress relief. Her effective procedures have helped many people get rid of stress and anxiety in life. She also offers Skype sessions for people living outside of New York. Visit her website for a free consultation.