Deadlines! Overcommitted! Overwhelmed! Effects of stress and what you can do about it, guest post by Jacqueline Conroy

You are currently viewing Deadlines! Overcommitted! Overwhelmed! Effects of stress and what you can do about it, guest post by Jacqueline Conroy
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Deadlines! Overcommitted! Overwhelmed!

State of mind<-> State of body <-> State of spirit

Practitioners of meditation and yoga have a fundamental

understanding of the connection between mind, body and spirit.

Eastern health practitioners use this principal to heal physical and

mental health problems. More recently Western neuroscientists

have made a body-mind-spirit connection explicit in the treatment

of stress and trauma related mental and physical illness.


Too many deadlines? Too much drama in your life?

The World Health Organisation has stated that stress is an

epidemic of the 21st Century. It is absolutely critical to reduce the

high levels of stress that you experience – your physical, mental

and spiritual health depends on it! The U. S. Centre for Disease

Control recently reported that more than 50% of deaths in the

under 65 age group are stress related.

Chronic high levels the stress hormone cortisol is believed to hard

wire your brain, reducing access to the thinking part of your brain

(prefrontal cortex). This works to keep your brain and body stuck

in the ‘flight-fight-freeze’ or fear response. Your brain and body are

in constant states of heightened emotions and hyper-arousal. In

the fear response you are unable to access the learning and

creativity parts of the brain.

Stress is normal. Managed stress is positive and keeps you alert to

danger and ready to respond to changes in your world. Stress

becomes negative when you are continually triggered by stressful

challenges without any downtime – relief or relaxation.

Prolonged periods of hyper-stressed states (greater than 3 hours)

or chronic stress leads to feelings of worry and overwhelm and

predisposes you to anxiety and post-traumatic stress. When the

body’s cortisol/stress hormone level is exhausted the body and

brain ‘fall flat’ into a state of hopelessness and helplessness and

feelings of depression. Negative health outcomes are also linked to

chronic stress – sleep problems, heart disease, cancer, addictive

behaviours and relapse.

The neuroscientist Rick Hansen describes the hyper-stressed part

of his Stress Model as the Red Zone. In his Stress Model Rick also

explains the Green Zone (normal levels of stress hormone) as the

state of being where you feel connected, present and have the

ability to love and be loved.

Better concentration and creativity, more stable moods, improved

communication and relationships, better physical health and an

increased sense of control of time and activity are a few of the

benefits of stress reduction.

“The Greatest Thing You Will Ever Learn is to Love and Be Loved

in Return” ~ David Bowie

How you can get into the Green Zone

1. Decrease your stress triggers

2. Reduce and relieve your stress

3. Change your lifestyle

4. Change your Perspective

Become More Optimistic and Manage Your Stress


Researchers from Concordia University found that optimists stress

hormone levels remain more stable in the face of stressful

moments compared to pessimists.


A glass can be seen as half full or half empty and both are accurate.

However, taking a more optimistic view of the situation is better

for your mental and physical health. Even if you are a born

pessimist you can still tap into the benefits of optimism.

“Optimism is a skill that anyone can practice and improve,” says

psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You:

Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness.

Recent research indicates that optimists and pessimists approach

problems differently, and their ability to cope successfully with

adversity differs as a result. Winston Churchill’s famous quote “a

pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees

the opportunity in every difficulty” suggests we could all benefit

from these traits. Optimism not only helps you move into a

solution finding mindset in the face of adversity but has health

benefits as well. Studies have shown that an optimistic perception

can improve the immune system, prevent chronic disease, and help

people cope with unfortunate news.

What is Optimism?

Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology, defines optimism

as reacting to problems with a sense of confidence and high

personal ability. Optimistic people believe that negative events are

temporary, limited in scope (instead of pervading every aspect of a

person’s life), and manageable. Seligman began his career studying

depression, stress, and anxiety. From his work in these areas, he

discovered that the optimistic approach acted as a protective factor

against the development of depression when faced with difficult


It also appears that optimists experience less stress than pessimists

or realists. Because they believe in themselves and their abilities,

they expect good things to happen. They see negative events as

minor setbacks to be easily overcome, and view positive events as

evidence of further good things to come. Believing in themselves,

they also take more risks and create more positive events in their


Boosting Your Optimism – Even if You’re a Cynic

A tendency towards pessimism seems to be part of some people’s

genetic makeup. However, your environment and your life

experience also shape your perceptions. Whether you are the type

of person who tends to see the sun or the clouds on a partly cloudy

day, you can boost your optimism.

One of the best ways you can train your brain for optimism and

improve your emotional and physical well-being is to be optimistic.

Practicing optimism for ten to twelve seconds will rewire your

brain from the negative frame bias to a positive frame bias – the

glass half empty to the glass half full attitude to life.

‘Drop by Drop the water pot is filled’ – Buddhist proverb

Little by little you can fill yourselves with optimism and a can-do

attitude. Positive self-talk and inspiring notes to yourself affirm

your self-belief and ability to manage life’s challenges and

adversities. You can change your attitude and perspective. With an

optimistic attitude you will become more proactive in reducing and

relieving your stress.

Boosting your optimism can change your actual reality.

Be optimistic!

Headshot Jacqueline Conroy  Jacqueline

PS My 50 Stress Buster Tips and Magical Messages to Boost Your Optimism Ebooks are a brilliant package to get you started

to manage your stress and live a more optimistic life. Available NOW in the 2016 Self Care Bundle!!

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