If you look around in this amazing world we call the internet, you’ll find tons of useful information about managing stress and pressure. Among the top ten you’ll surely find exercise, diet, suggestions to eat and sleep well, breathing and relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
These are all great pieces of advice, and if you’re interested in them also from the point of view of Karma Killer Yoga, then I invite you to read my earlier posts [links here] as well.
Here, I’d like to give you a perspective that’s more specific to Karma Killer Yoga by Anamé Program. First, let’s have a look at a practical approach I found on the website of the American Heart Organization:
Negative stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best — mentally, physically and emotionally. But no one’s life is completely stress-free. It’s important to know how to manage the stress in your life. Try these simple techniques for dealing with it.
Let’s be honest, we all talk to ourselves! Sometimes we talk out loud but usually we do it in our heads. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “everything will be OK”) or negative (“I’ll never get better” or “I’m so stupid”). Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk can help you calm down and control stress. With practice, you can learn to shift negative thoughts to positive ones.
Negative to Positive
“I can’t do this.”> “I’ll do the best I can. I’ve got this.”
“Everything is going wrong.” > “I can handle this if I take one step at a time.”
“I hate it when this happens.” > “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”
“I feel helpless and alone.”> “I can reach out and get help if I need it.”
“I can’t believe I screwed up. > “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
To really make it work, practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts. It’s a great practice to teach kids, too!
What this part basically says is that try to control what you have control over. You don’t have control over how your boss talks to you. But you can gain control over how you think or feel about it – your entire internal environment. And if I told you that it’s possible to change your thinking pattern with less thinking, would you believe it? Later I’ll get back to this but first let’s break down what happens in a how-your-boss-talks-to-you situation:
- Your boss talks to you in an unacceptable way: he or she may be unjust or can simply have a bad day and take it out on you.
- The rest of the day is shadowed by this incident. It stays with you all day at the back of your mind, feeling bad about yourself or about what happened, being angry or unable to grasp what’s going on, as yesterday everything seemed to be just fine.
- You replay the conversation in your head over and over again. You analyze all the things that have (and haven’t) been said. What you should’ve said but didn’t. How it’d have been the best to react to that certain accusation.
Of course, it could be any other conflict – with your mom, your child, a close friend or your spouse. What basically happens is that after the conflict the stress factor is gone, you keep it alive in your mind.
Conflict induces stress, but your body can tolerate it relatively well. Depending on many factors (like age, gender, personal adaptive mechanisms, social relationships, etc.) individual responses to stress, pressure and their effects may vary, but as a general rule, it is safe to say that stress is more harmful when it’s elongated. Some studies have also found that short term stress can have beneficial effects that enhances physical and mental performance as well as immune response. An NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) article approaches this topic the following way (in case you’re interested in the whole article, it is linked at the end of this post):
[…] it is also important to appreciate that the process of evolution did not select for the biological stress response to sicken, handicap, or kill us, but rather to help us survive. A psycho-physiological stress response is one of nature’s fundamental survival mechanisms. Without a fight-or-flight stress response, a lion has no chance of catching a gazelle, just as the gazelle has no chance of escape. Thus, during short-term stress, multiple physiological systems are activated to enable survival. Dhabhar et al. first proposed that just as the short-term stress response prepares the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neuroendocrine systems for fight or flight, under certain conditions, stress may similarly prepare the immune system and the brain for challenges (e.g., wounding, infection, figuring out an escape route, tackling a job interview, running a race, etc.) that may be imposed by a stressor (e.g., predator, or, in modern times, a medical/surgical procedure, professional opportunity, athletic competition, etc.). Since then, numerous studies have shown in humans and animals, that short-term stress experienced at the time of immune activation induces a significant enhancement of the ensuing immune response. Studies have also shown short-term stress induced enhancement of mental performance.
It is known that stress can be harmful when it is chronic or long lasting, however, it is often overlooked that a stress response has salubrious adaptive effects in the short run. Therefore, a major distinguishing characteristic of stress is the duration of the biological stress response. Short-term stress has been defined as stress that lasts for a period of minutes to hours, and chronic stress as stress that persists for several hours per day for weeks or months. Dysregulation of the circadian cortisol rhythm is one marker that appears to coincide with the deleterious effects of chronic stress. The intensity of stress can be gauged by the peak levels of stress hormones, neurotransmitters, and other physiological changes such as increases in heart rate and blood pressure, and could affect the amount of time for which these changes persist during stress and following the cessation of stress.
According to the above, chronic stress persists for several hours per day for weeks or months. The conflict with your boss described above doesn’t happen every day. But think about all the tiny conflicts of a day: the unfriendly remark of a colleague, the unreasonably honking and cursing driver, the doctor, who didn’t explain the possible side effects of a treatment to your dad, your child getting a bad or an unfair grade or you getting late from an appointment.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this is how I used to react to such everyday negativities before practicing Karma Killer Yoga by Anamé Program:
- Judgement. I immediately began to judge and blame the other person, myself or the circumstances or these three in any possible combination.
- Narratives. I came up with stories and explanations for the other’s behavior, setting theories of how they think about the other sex or what kind of relationship they must have had with their moms.🙂
- Exaggerated criticism. I always found something to criticize. People, including myself, the turn of events, situations were rarely good enough for me, I almost always found a weak spot or a flaw I could complain or be discontent about.
If you are a human like me, one or two things of the above probably sounds familiar. And what effect do you think they have on an initial, a certain factor induced stress? Elongate it, you’re correct.
And now, back to the AHO tips to manage stress, which I’ve knocked up for you with my own experience, a Karma Killer Yoga exercise and an Anamé lifestyle goodie😉
The below AHO tips are basically coping mechanisms for short term and long term stress and pressure.
With the free exercises of Karma Killer Yoga you can benefit from the immediate relief as well as the long term effects of living your life on a higher energy level. These exercises, which are perfect for beginners as well, can help you get rid of the negative, stress persevering thought patterns as well as get more conscious about what type of food and other external stimuli – that may affect your stress level and the way you respond to pressure – you allow into your life.
Out of the three tips I want to share with you, one is about the mindset, the other offers an immediate and also a long term relief on a physical and emotional level. I’ll also give you a lifestyle tip, that’s probably outside the frames of the obvious (but very helpful!) sleep well – eat well – exercise – socialize four in hand. Applied together you can get great results already in a couple of days, depending on the severity of the stress. To enhance the effect further try to make sure that you eliminate sugar and gluten from your diet and make it more plant based with some fresh raw fruits and veggies for each meal. And I try to include some sort of an exercise into your daily routine, even if it’s only going out for a walk for fifteen minutes, for a start.
And if you’re interested in more lifestyle tips you can apply for even better results, see my earlier posts. So let’s get back to AHO a bit shaken up and complemented.😉
-Top 10 Emergency Stress-Stoppers
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:
Count to 10 before you speak or react.
Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit.
Go for a walk, even if it’s just to the restroom and back. It can help break the tension and give you a chance to think things through.
Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.
If it’s not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow. This works especially well for stressful emails and social media trolls.
Walk away from the situation for a while, and handle it later once things have calmed down.
Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once.
Turn on some chill music or an inspirational podcast to help you deal with road rage.
Take a break to pet the dog, hug a loved one or do something to help someone else.
Work out or do something active. Exercise is a great antidote for stress.
And here goes your extra Karma Killer Yoga tip for immediate (and long term!) stress relief:
The stress relieving exercise by Anamé Program
This free exercise of Karma Killer Yoga (link below) is capable of relieving stress immediately, as well as contributing to a general calmer attitude. Stress usually goes along with shallow, faster chest breathing. The exercise helps to drain the excess tension from the chest, promotes to let go negative feelings and assists the body to return to a deeper, slower breathing pattern.
It’s most beneficial when practiced every day but works well as an immediate tranquilizer as well.
Practiced regularly it can help normalize high blood pressure, reduce anxiety or panic and promote a general feeling of stability.
Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to relieve stress and find your happy place. Even when you’re down, you may find pleasure in simple things like going for a walk, catching up with a friend, or reading a good book. When stress makes you feel bad, do something that makes you feel good, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes.
- Find inspiration in stressful situations and pressure
Here come some more tips for activities, similar to those of the previous point. So let’s see what I can add here from the point of view of Karma Killer Yoga and Anamé lifestyle.
Short and long term coping strategies are both useful and inevitable. But there are true treasures hidden in the attitude to see what certain stress factors or pressing circumstances require from us and how we can grow, how we can develop with their help.
As for pressure, the Queen and David Bowie suggest giving love one more chance:
The way you look at a stressful situation is a determining factor in how you cope with it in the short term, and also as regards to how you cope with the pressure of stress in the long run in general. The more you’re able to see it as a challenge, a problem to solve, the more you’ll be able to treat it. That way you’ll see more and more the gifts that a stressful period or situation can bring. You may learn skills or get a new perspective and therefore have the opportunity to evolve.
I’ve recently had a two week period with quite an extreme workload. Before I approached those two weeks thinking about it as a survivors’ camp. I planned everything I could in advance and had seriously thought that somehow I just had to endure what was about to come.
And what came was in many aspects unexpected. First, I was aware that I didn’t have any excess energy for activities that keep me from performing my very best, like spending time on social media above the necessary. The only way to make it was to keep focused and effective. Even complaining about it would take up too much of my energy. So I simply concentrated on what had to be done.
And I could do it much better than I expected. Much better, actually, than ever before. So, there you go. Just stay open to any stressful situation and pressure and look for the ways it can help you develop and be receptive to the message it wants to convey. And if it doesn’t go the way you hoped it would, be patient, appreciate yourself for the effort and be aware that it’s a process. You cannot fail; it’s not like in school.
2. Start small – In your apartment: find a spot where you invite calmness and structure
It’s easier to respond to everyday stress and pressure if your home is a place for charging, calmness and cherishing yourself. In case you don’t have the time or resources to rethink your whole apartment and organize it accordingly, just find a corner or a spot which can be a true island of relaxation and tranquility. Notice that having such a spot in your home will make it easier to cope with difficult, stressful situations also when you’re out and about.
Stress and pressure management on the level of the chakras
I’d mention 4 chakras here, all of which play an important role as to your general attitude toward stress and pressure, and also in how you’re able to manage them in your everyday life. They are:
In my next post I’ll show you how each of them contribute to stress response and pressure management, how the practice of Karma Killer Yoga by Anamé Program can help them be in better shape and what this whole thing has to do with a higher energy level life. See you there😉
Stress relieving exercise by Anamé Program:
Stress relieving excercise in case of HBP, panic, reflux, pregnancy or other conditions when the prone position is counter indicated:
The above quoted NCBI article: