Stress and Your Emotions
Stress is inevitable, but it does not have to throw you over the edge because people can use coping tools such as, exercise, meditation, and laughter to help control their emotions. Some people become so overwhelmed in stressful situations they do things out of character; they can harm themselves or others. Lately, the news reported at least one or two stories of a wife murdered by her husband due to rage, that can be caused by stress or anger. I believe stress can be the root of such anger. Our stress response to any given situation is the fight or flight response, but the goal is to mobilize energy. This is how our bodies are wired, and we can help by educating ourselves with knowledge, and applying tools to help release our stress hormones by making some changes on what we are accustomed to doing in a situation or crisis. Recently a family member was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer. This is not the kind of crisis I anticipated writing about when given this assignment; it’s ironic that this would arise at this time, and practicing these tools would not only be helpful, but it has now become personal.
One way to release stress hormones is by exercising: Exercising is a good way to release stress, and personally, I exercise while cleaning my own home. I like to get things done, and I like the feeling of accomplishment when everything is clean and in order. It is also healthy for your heart. Endorphins, the happy hormone is released as well during physical exercise. Exercise also keeps the heart healthy and get oxygen into the system. It also releases some sex hormones, and an enhancement of immune response (Stress Management Society). Some anger management consultants would recommend punching something, such as, pillows, or punching bags. I can’t imagined my face being taped to such bag, and would hate to have holes in my walls. Exercise can also help deplete stress hormone and release mood-enhancing chemicals to help us cope with stress (Mayo Clinic).
Meditation is another coping tool that is highly recommend for stress. The Bible is full of ways that help cope with stress. The book of Proverbs gives insight on how to deal with anger, jealousy, resentment, hatred, etc. Daily devotion time with Jesus reminds me that I am not in control of anything or anyone but my own emotions. I am only responsible for my attitude and actions. If I meditate on what I had read in the Bible, I can fight against negativity; a negative attitude can produce what the mind thinks. It’s said, “You are what you think”. It also releases chemicals that decrease your immune system. Lee Lacocca says, “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive” (Lacocca). Meditation is not just sitting with your legs crossed and breathing. Meditation can be long walks, drawing, swimming, spending quite time with your child, or even fishing. It’s a time of relaxing the mind and seeing things differently. I remember driving the same road to and from work every day for at least a year. I was always in a hurry to get to work, and in a hurry to get home. One day, I was not in hurry; I drove the same route, but I never seen the gifts laid out on the back drop. I see flowers along the highway, and a majestic mountain that looked like a painting in the sky. I was amazed; I never seen this mountain before. I thought maybe I had taken a different road; it was the same road. Stress can be blinders at times; causing you to miss even precious moments like your child’s first steps in life. Events like these cannot be reenacted.
Laughter is another tool that can relieve stress. It defuses anger, and is also a natural healer. Although it is not the cure for all things, it can lighten a load, and helps you think more clearly and positive thoughts. Positive thoughts release neuropeptides that help fight stress. When you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, there is only one perspective, and that could be to just get it done. Laughter can loosen the knots, and help you see things in a different, more helpful perspective. It improves your immune system, and helps fight off more serious illnesses. Mayo Clinic states the effects of negativity leads to health problems; even serious health issues. Laughter also stimulates your heart, muscles, and it enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air (Mayo Clinic).
Charlie Chaplin says, “A day without laughter is a day wasted” (Chaplin).
Some may say stress is self-influenced, and people chose to be angry, worried, and stressed, but life is hard, who would want to live on an emotional rollercoaster? Stress is inevitable, but it does not need to control people’s emotions, because there are tools to be learned and exercised daily. It is said that a habit is formed in 3 days, and it’s never hard to form bad habits, but good habits come with adversity, and it arises at the moment of decision. There are many ways to start making changes, and one way would be find a friend or two to go on walks or exercise together. Another way is by surrounding yourself with positive people who can help you change your perspective, and a few friends who like to laugh must know the secret to a longer life. Khalil Gibran says, “In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed (Gibran).
Laccoca, Lee. Stress. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web.
Mayo Clinic. Stress management. N.p.: n.p., 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.
Stress Management Society. Taking companies and individuals from distress to de-stress. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web.