by Dr. Tina Marcantel

We’re living in very stressful times, and it’s no secret that stress affects us both mentally and physically.

Stress triggers emotions like anger, fear, and sadness. In turn, these emotions trigger old thought patterns: “I’m not safe” or “I won’t have enough” or “I’m not good enough.” These thoughts can then set off physical responses in our bodies that release stress hormones, and that can lead to adrenal and thyroid problems, insomnia, weight gain, and inflammation—the root cause of most disease.

We have very little control of the world around us, so what can we do to control the stress we feel in OUR lives? A lot, actually. Here are some suggestions.

*Observe your emotions. When you feel a strong emotion rising—anger or fear, for instance—step outside your mind for a moment and try to act as an impartial observer. What specific thing triggered this? Was it a news report? A Facebook post? A conversation? Recognizing triggers is a big first step. Allow yourself to feel the emotion, but don’t identify with it (“this is who I am”).

*Shine a light—without judgment. Allow your thoughts to come into the light so they can be acknowledged. Don’t judge yourself for the thoughts (“I shouldn’t think such things”); the thoughts aren’t who you are, they’re just thoughts. Once they surface, they can be released—along with the negative emotions attached to them.

*Own your feelings. “He makes me so angry!” Remember that no one can make you feel anything. You choose how you react to others based on whether or not they meet your expectations. If you take responsibility for your feelings, you can control them and you become empowered.

*Minimize triggers. If the evening news or your Facebook feed makes your blood boil or want to hide under your bed, minimize the time you spend with them. You can be informed without being immersed.

*Honor yourself with healthy practices. Meditate, breathe deeply, go for a walk in nature, hang out with the animals at the zoo, laugh.

Minimizing the stress in your life will maximize your health!


For more articles like this, try these:

What Was I Thinking?

Take Your Power Back by Stopping the Blame Game

Identifying with Negative Self Images