Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Tools to Cope with Stress and Anxiety —

A pandemic places us under constant mental stress.  We know stress to cause health issues. It is easy to overlook or deny the causes of stress until it is too late.   Here are some strategies to help you maintain your health and wellness.

Tools to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Conquering stress is not an option, it is vital to our health and wellness. Stress causes several health problems, from headaches and insomnia to mental breakdowns and heart attacks. Stress is also is a major contributing factor to errors in thought and action. If we learn to spot the warning signs, we can make changes before bad things happen.

We need to release the psychological pressures of the modern world.  Otherwise, it will affect every area of life.  The effects of stress sneak up on you, they are an accumulation of small things that are subtle and hard to recognize.  A pandemic only intensifies the psychological pressures.

When we get used to living with stress, it becomes more dangerous. If we get used to the stress, then we fail to recognize the health consequences until it is too late.  We understand how being in a car accident is stressful. But we become used to the constant stress of an ongoing crisis.

3 Common Warning Signs of Stress

If we can learn how stress manifests in our lives, then we can take the proper steps to handle it.  The first step in conquering stress is admitting that it exists. To cope with stress and anxiety you must recognize and acknowledge it.  Once you know it’s happening, then you can apply the right remedy. If you have any of the three major warning signs below, it’s time to make some changes.

Sometimes a simple change can have a very positive effect.   The modern lifestyle fills our lives with stress, but we can learn to recognize this psychological pressure and use it in positive ways.

Stress comes in many forms.  The psychological pressures of our modern world are a recent development for humanity.  We must learn to cope with stress and anxiety coming from several sources.

1. Pessimistic Thinking or Feeling Dissatisfied

Are you constantly thinking or feeling pessimistic and dissatisfied with life? It’s natural to be mindful of undesirable consequences. But when worst-case scenarios become the major topic of your thought-life, then it becomes a source of emotional and physical stress. When you feel stressed out, you attract more of the same feelings.

Are you are having negative, overly skeptical, or feelings? Are you resentful and unhappy with your life? These are also potential signs of stress. When our thinking becomes negative, it is easy spiral downward to more unhealthy thoughts and feelings.  Strange as it seems, this is also a comfort zone, even though it is unhealthy.

The key is being able to recognize when you are in an emotional whirlpool. Then you can make some changes. You need to change negative thinking patterns to find solutions. Take a break. Engage in self-care. Raise your spirits to find peace of mind, even during crisis circumstances. At the end of this article, you’ll find the strategies to address this. Here are the warning signs of stress.

2. Feeling Sick and Tired

You’ve probably heard the expression, “I’m sick and tired, of this or that.” Being chronically tired is only a small step away from being physically or mentally ill. Do you sleep a lot on a day off from work, but awaken only more tired? Are you mentally lethargic even after that cup of coffee?

These are signs of an overstressed physical or emotional state. Are you always catching colds or persistent headaches or body aches and pains? These can also be signs of an overstressed immune and nervous system. Western medicine prescribes a pill to stimulate or kill the infection, but the root cause remains — an overstressed person.

If you find you are in an emotional whirlpool. Then you can implement some changes to raise your spirits and bring about peace in your life, regardless of your circumstances. This is the goal.  But in today’s world, it isn’t easy to do.  At the end of this article, you’ll find the strategies to help you move closer to this goal.  Here is one more area of concern.

3. Errors and Self-Doubt

Errors and Self-Doubt go hand in hand. Or, if you prefer Self-Doubt and Errors. Either way, they can multiply. The more errors you make, the more self-doubt and second-guessing. This leads to more errors. The cycle is debilitating and only causes more and more stress. It doesn’t matter if you are engaged in something physical or mental.

If you realize this is happening, you can do something about it. Then you can make some changes. Try to recall the things you’ve done right. Focus on the successes.

This is one of the most common issues that arise in the workplace.  If you make errors, you know your job is in jeopardy.  In turn, this creates more stress which increases the probability you’ll make more mistakes.  Most work environments have a progressive discipline for people who aren’t performing.

So, when your company places you on a performance improvement plan your stress escalates.  If you aren’t able to cope with the increased stress, then you are more likely to make more errors.  It’s a vicious spiral. It makes you susceptible to the other major stress factors of pessimistic thinking and feeling tired.  You need to recognize the warning signs for this early.  Otherwise, you’ll be unemployed and this is one of the most stressful experiences in anyone’s life.

Tools to Conquer Stress

Conquering Work and Cultural Stress

If you identify with any of the above areas, you are not alone. Here are some strategies to move you toward a peaceful state from a stressful state:

Nature & Nurture

Take a walk in the wilderness or park. Above all, learn the basic techniques for “Forest Bathing.” Essentially, this practice focuses your attention on your body and the landscape.  It gets you out of your head.

If you can,  find a natural setting.  Nature is full of healing.  The ideal place is the wilderness.  Someplace untouched by the hand of man is ideal.  If a natural environment isn’t available, walk in a quiet park where you can hear and see the natural beauty of the world can work.  If you need to walk in the city, walk on grass when possible, it is better than concrete and asphalt.  But, if you are in the city, at least get outdoors and look at the sky. If you are stuck inside, visualize a place in nature.

The key here is to stop ruminating and get out of your head.  Find a place that is calming and peaceful. Walking outdoors will improve our attitude.
 
When you catch yourself ruminating, stop. Take a break. It’s okay to reminisce. But, re-running conversations and events past can be self-destructive. Tell yourself to leave them alone for a while.
 
Walk outdoors and use your senses to feel how hot or cold it is, smell the season, listen for the birds. If at all possible, camp out in the wilderness. Yes, you’ll have to fight bugs and weather, but your spirit will reconnect with nature. Nature is our true home.

Meditate

Meditate and bask in the state of pure consciousness, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. If you don’t know how to meditate to reach this state, and many do not then find someone who can teach you Japa or Transcendental Meditation.

You can start by learning basic mindfulness meditation techniques.  These are easy to learn seated and moving meditative techniques you can use anywhere for any length of time.  Learning to quiet the mind is an asset. This is the most powerful tool for conquering stress.

Chant a mantra designed to either bring peace or break down the barriers in your way. If you don’t know how to chant a mantra like then you should investigate and find one that resonates with you.

When you Chant a mantra takes the mind out of your normal hectic problem identification mode to one of a peaceful but energizing mood. It helps to ease the anxiety and anxiousness of thought patterns cause stress. It also enables our heart to relax from any negative emotional state, thus reducing the amount of stress.

Read Something New and Challenging

Reading is how we install new software in our minds.  It’s important to read something fun and read things that stretch your thinking.  Above all, read things outside of your comfort zone.  Believe it or not, this will reduce your stress.  It gives the mind something new to think about.  This is very restorative.  It also creates new neuron pathways.  In turn, this helps you to cope with stress and anxiety.

The above strategies are a few of the core spiritual technologies we recommend.  Several others are also effective in dealing with the stresses of life.  Engage in a variety of positive life-affirming activities. This will safeguard your health and wellness.  So, we recommend learning as many of the ancient spiritual technologies.  These are consciousness development tools. They help expand awareness.

Practice Self-Care

Do the things that help restore your emotional equilibrium.  You cannot help others when you need nurturing.  Taking care of yourself gives you the energy to help others.  Self-care is not selfish if we do it in moderation.

Use Consciousness Development Tools

We do not exist between our ears. The real you, the person you talk to inside your head, is not limited by the dimensions of time or space.   Our consciousness is designed to access to higher states of consciousness.  All we need are the keys to open our awareness, and these tools exist.  We call these tools spiritual technologies.

Everyone has their own way of awakening their spiritual gifts sleeping in their DNA.  Awakening is a process.  When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion.  It opens our minds to new potentials.

Accessing these spiritual gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures.  We can trace the investigation of consciousness back to ancient cultures around the world.  We enjoy the benefits of generations of their research.  These early pioneers give us several tools for exploring consciousness.

We call the processes of these early explorers, spiritual technologies.  These processes stand up to the test of science, they are repeatable and produce unique physiological changes. Using these tools, we can reach higher states of awareness that differ from waking, sleeping, and dreaming.

We use a blended learning model incorporating those processes which are safe and reliable.  We are not the first to use this eclectic approach.  For example, Gurdjieff’s approach was to adopt techniques proven to be effective.  Human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years, so the work of the ancient pioneers stands the test of time.

In Conclusion

Stress and anxiety are hidden killers.  When you ignore or deny the pressures, you increase the severity of the problems.  Instead, take a pro-active approach and learn to implement the tools that can relieve the mental stress.

We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking.  You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the search option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.

Does spiritual exploration interest you?  If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes.  This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey (1).

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References

(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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