Learn to Cope with Stress and Anxiety — Conquering Stress

Learn to Cope with Stress and Anxiety — Conquering Stress

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

Learn to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Conquering stress is not an option, it is vital to our health and wellness. Stress can cause almost every ailment.  It results in everything from headaches and insomnia to mental breakdowns and heart attacks. Stress is also is a major contributing factor to errors in thought and action. So, we want to learn to spot the warning signs.  That way we can make changes before bad things happen.

We need to find ways 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. It’s 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. We fail to recognize the health consequences until it is too late.  We understand how being in a car accident is stressful. But we fail to recognize the constant stress of an ongoing crisis.

Three Most Common Ways Stress Manifests

If we can learn the ways in which 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. This is the first step in learning to cope with stress and anxiety.  Once you know it’s happening, then you can apply the right remedy. So, if you have any one of the three main warning signs listed below you will know 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 is a new development.  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 main topic of your thought-life, then it becomes a source of emotional and physical stress. When you are feeling this way, you will tend to attract more of the same.

Are you are having negative, overly skeptical, or feelings? Are you resentful and unhappy with your life? These are also potential signs of stress. Again, when we are thinking or feeling this way, we tend to continue in the spiral of unhealthy thoughts and feelings.  Strange as it seems, this is also a comfort zone for many, even though it is unhealthy.

The key is recognizing 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. But, first, here are some other areas of concern.

2. Feeling Sick and Tired

You’ve probably heard the expression, “I’m sick and tired, of this or that.” You must realize that being chronically tired is only a small step away from being physically or mentally ill. Do you prefer to sleep away a day off, 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 too can 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.

Conquering Stress

Conquering Work and Cultural Stress

If you identify with any of the above areas you are not along. 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 that is natural and has not been developed or manipulated by the hand of man.  If this isn’t available, walk in a quiet park where you can hear and see the natural beauty of the world can work.  It is better than concrete and asphalt.  But, if you are in the city, at least get outdoors and look at the sky.

The key here is to stop ruminating and get out of your head.  Find a place that is calming and peaceful. Walking outdoors will greatly 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 real 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 this you should learn. This activity is one that 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 that 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 new software is installed in your mind.  So, read something fun.  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 it is done in moderation.

Consciousness Development Tools

Everyone has their own way of awakening.  We have unique gifts and we are on different timetables. Awakening is a process.  We of accessing the spiritual gifts are sleeping in our DNA.  When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion.  It opens our minds to new potentials.
 
Accessing these gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures. We enjoy the benefits of generations of research.  The results are a set of powerful tools anyone can use. We call these tools spiritual technologies.  These are sound methods for expanding awareness and exploring consciousness.
 
These tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable experiential phenomena. And, higher states of awareness also have unique measurable physiological signatures. They differ from the basic states of consciousness (waking, sleeping, and dreaming). 
 
You do not need to follow a religion to use these tools. All you need to do is follow the process.  For the most part, these tools come from Eastern traditions.  Their focus is on exploring consciousness and developing human potential.
 
You will find this eclectic in other systems.  For example, Gurdjieff’s approach was to adopt what is already proven to be effective.  After all, human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years.  So, the work of the ancient pioneers stands the test of time.

What are Spiritual Technologies?

Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness.  They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable.  Everyone who can follow a process can use these tools. We call the practice of these processes spiritual exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group.   We like this simple method of grouping.

Critical Thinking

The first group is several analytical tools to enhance critical thinking. The Enneagram Personality Profile is the first tool of our blended learning process. This tool provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct. Logical reasoning, spotting logical fallacies, and logical axioms. These are the three major tools of logical reasoning. This helps you to avoid common mistakes in assessing information.
Next, a research tool we call Comparative analysis.  This is a process to help us explore and compare belief systems.  This process is a scientific process form of comparative religious studies. Together these analytical tools give a solid foundation of common sense thinking. They sharpen your ability to discern facts from fiction.

Seated Meditation

Seated meditation is the heart of most spiritual practices. This includes a wide range of meditation techniques. It starts with Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation. It progresses to more advanced forms like Japa Meditation the Siddhis of Patanjali.

Moving Meditation

This is another foundational element that strengthens the mind-body connection. Moving meditation is also to our health and wellness.  This progression includes several methods of energy collection. Here we teach Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.

Awareness Expansion

Pathways for expanding awareness include a variety of tools. This group includes practical tools like the spiritual journal and automatic writing. Here we introduce lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey, or Guided Meditation. There are also techniques for third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness.

Healing Practices

Healing practices are the last group.  This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu.  Self-care is an important element of this group. It is vital for normalizing our inner work and maintaining our health and wellness.

In Conclusion

If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. To find out more about our organization, see our page FAQ.

Interested in spiritual exploration?  Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey.  Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.

References

Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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