What is Stress Doing to You?


If you’ve been paying attention to health media over the past 20 years, no doubt you’ve heard the message that “Stress Kills” – it weakens the immune system and is the common denominator in all disease. Lots is being done to help us relieve stress, but here’s a solution you probably never considered…

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing Shawn Achor of GoodThinkInc.com speaking about The Happiness Advantage. If you haven’t seen Shawn’s hilarious TEDx talk from 2011, take a few minutes to watch it…you’ll laugh and likely relieve some stress, too:

When we choose to feel happier, there are many beneficial results: Our brains are flooded with happiness hormones (like Dopamine and Serotonin, and the hormones they control), we are more relaxed, and more likely to make better decisions.

What does this have to do with stress? Visiting Achor’s site after the webinar, I stumbled across a mention of a study that showed when people were taught to view stress as a “good thing”, it changed how their bodies responded to stress! Yes, something as simple as reframing ‘stress’ into a positive experience, one we would want to look for and appreciate, was enough to cause some people to truly thrive.

In perfect timing, psychologist Kelly McGonigal had more to say about this phenomenon recently, also via TED:

So, it turns out that what stress is doing to you has more to do with how you VIEW stress than the actual source or experience of stress! If you look for ways to find that stress is beneficial and helpful in your life, then you will become more resilient and better able to manage stress. Does this finding surprise you?

From a Law of Attraction point of view, your beliefs control how you experience the world—or more accurately, how the world is mirrored back to you to support your existing beliefs about the world.

Take a moment to ask yourself how you might be able to view stress differently, and share your thoughts below.

Consciously Choosing to Imagine a Better Outcome or Find the Opportunity

Do any of these sound familiar?

> Whenever a police or fire truck siren is heard, you tense up and worry about who they were responding to and where the catastrophe is…

> When watching the news, every story breaks your heart to hear…

> You avoid the newspaper and nightly news because you can’t bear to hear another negative story about the economy, the environment, and/or politics…

Recently, I have made a conscious decision that has made a real difference in how I experience my life: I consciously choose to imagine that whatever I witness is truly a wonderful thing, a great gift, and amazing opportunity.

For instance, instead of tensing up when I hear sirens, I now feel gratitude and appreciation in my heart for the folks who dedicate themselves to defending, protecting, and saving others’ lives and properties. I wish them God-speed in their efforts as the sirens pass by, and I imagine them arriving at the perfect time to help whomever/wherever they are en route to and feeling great joy in their accomplishments. Hearing the siren gives me a chance to remember the brave folks risk their lives to help others and send them positive energy to do their jobs well.

Now when I see depressing news stories, I ask myself, “Where is the blessing and opportunity in this? What is the best possible outcome?”

Napolean Hill said that every negative holds the seed to an equal or greater positive.

When the stock market plummets, wealthy investors get excited about buying into bargains while the middle class gets bogged down in fear and sells what little they have. The wealthy look for opportunities where the rest see fear and despair. Perhaps that depressing news story actually holds a tremendous seed for an equal or greater positive…but you’ll never know if you never look for it!

I keep in mind that when others experience a hardship or difficulty, it is something they have attracted into their life for a reason: A chance to experience a learning opportunity, or a new reason to give back to those that help them, or a cause to motivate them into action, or a reason beyond my personal comprehension. Unless I was personally involved in creating the hardship or difficulty for them, I am really just an observer of what other people have attracted from past thoughts and vibrations. As Abraham-Hicks would say, it’s not my pie. I need to focus my attention on and take responsibility for my pie and let others take responsibility for their own pies.

Sometimes, however, we become observers of other people’s hardships and difficulties for a reason that is specific to us: A reminder for what matters to us, or a chance to change our own consciousness on a given subject, or a reason to motivate us into compassionate action. There are as many reasons why we need to observe someone elses difficulties as there are humans on Earth.

The bottom line is, you have a choice: Feel bad (sad, angry, frustrated, irritated, miserable, etc.) about what you observe, or find a reason to feel good (appreciative, loving, grateful, compassionate, etc.) about what you observe. Based on what we know about the Law of Attraction, if you consistently find a reason to feel good then you are vibrating at a higher level and therefore have more power to be of real help than if you are feeling bad. When you are vibrating higher, the solutions that come to you will also be of a higher vibration. Higher vibration solutions provide win-win situations that help everyone involved. From that standpoint, you are of more help to yourself and others when you consciously choose to find the silver lining and feel good.

If this idea resonates for you, try this exercise for yourself to see if it makes a difference: The next time you feel yourself tensing up and getting dragged down into negativity when observing, ask yourself: Is it possible to imagine a better outcome? What opportunity does this experience offer? How can this situation be a blessing for everyone involved?

Now it’s time for you to share your example. Click on Comments below and tell us how you consciously choose to imagine a better outcome or finding the opportunity in your life.

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