Understanding Fear and Stress

Every turn you fear is empty air dressed to look like jagged hell.
—Richard Bach

FEAR AND stress are very similar. They oftentimes feel the same. If we truly understand fear and get a clear picture of what is happening when we feel fear, we can oftentimes dispense with the need to fear things at all. We can make the fear disappear!

In class, when we begin our focus on fear, I start with this ominous sounding question: “Why do you think you are here?” I don’t mean to ask the students why they are here in this building on this particular day. I ask them why they feel they are alive and what they are here to do. What is their purpose for living and being? They commonly respond with answers like these:

Wedding Day Yoga

She doesn’t do yoga every day, yet on the morning of her wedding, Rylee Porter Alderman decided to do some yoga.
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Rylee originally started yoga because she loved the aspects that it brought to her fitness. “Yoga challenged me in my balance, posture, flexibility, and areas that my other [fitness] classes neglected.

So why would she take the time to do yoga on the morning of the biggest day of her life?

Rylee explains, “I chose to do yoga and a good meditation session on the morning of my wedding because even though I knew everything was taken care of and that the night would go wonderfully, I still felt anxious. So I decided yoga would be a really good idea to stretch and calm my mind, body, and spirit. I felt like it really centered me and put me in a really good place which set me up to have a perfect wedding.”

“I highly suggest yoga to any bride or bride to be. It has the mental and physical benefits of meditation for your mind. I think it was one of the smartest decisions I made on my wedding day. I am no expert; it was just basic yoga, but the benefits worked for me.”

Mindfulness vs Multitasking

 

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night suddenly realizing that you made a mistake or forgot to do something the day before? Isn’t it crazy, that you can go all day and not think of something important, and then at 2:56 a.m., it hits you like a brick?

But what can you do about it at 2:56 am? You know you won’t be able to take care of it until morning, but that isn’t going to help you fall back asleep. As a matter of fact, if you are like most people, it will keep you awake thinking about it and – worrying.

To fix this, we must look at why this happens in the first place.

All Stress Begins with our Thoughts

All stress begins with a thought. It isn’t what’s happening “out there” that initiates the stress response. It’s how we interpret what’s happening “out there” that causes us to become stressed or not. We call this a perception of a threat. If we think this situation will lead to some kind of pain (emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical), we turn on the stress response automatically to prepare for the potential pain. The potential pain is what we call a “threat.” Prevention of stress, then, is best done by focusing on our thoughts, by changing how we think about those things we think are threatening.
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Meditation – Wire Your Brain for Success?

[frame align=”left”][/frame]Not only does meditation reduce stress, but it also improves your mind by helping you learn and remember new things. It also improves memory and the ability to focus – permanently. In other words, meditation can wire your brain for success – here’s how . . .

While you meditate, your brain goes from the beta waves, which are the awake and alert brain waves, to the slower, more restful levels of brainwave activity called theta and delta waves. This is usually where the brain goes during deep sleep, dreaming, or deep hypnosis. This is also the time when the body undergoes its most restorative rest.1

While the brain is resting in these deeper rhythms, the body is at work. The immune system gets boosted and the body also repairs the damage done to it during the day, including healing cuts, bruises and internal problems that we may not even know about. This restorative state is also when the mind shuffles through the thoughts and experiences of the day, organizing data into short-term and long-term storage. 1

Breathing Techniques Reduce Test Anxiety and Increase Performance

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Have you ever been disappointed with a test score because you knew you could have done better but were just so nervous you didn’t do your best?
How about on a job interview, or when giving an important presentation?

When we are anxious or nervous our breathing changes from deep diaphragmatic breaths to shallow chest breathing.  This kind of breathing restricts oxygen flow to the cells of the body and may cause drowsiness, irritability and even headaches.

Managing the Waves and Leaks in Time

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When I was fourteen years old, I went to California with a group of kids my age. We went to Santa Monica Beach to see the ocean. None of us had been there before so this was a real treat for us. When we got there, we decided to try bodysurfing. We saw others doing it and it looked fun and much less difficult than regular surfing. Soon we learned how it was done and found ourselves out in the water preparing for the waves to come our way.

When a large wave approached, I started swimming as hard as I could, hoping to time it perfectly. I found myself riding the wave in toward the shore. Suddenly, the wave pulled me down, headfirst into the sand under the water.

The World is NOT a Stressful Place

How Do Books and Downloads Relieve My Stress?

How do books & downloads relieve my stress?

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When you are under stress, your autonomic nervous system thinks you are being threatened and turns on the stress response. This is the mechanism that helps you get out of dangerous situations. Some people refer to it as being in “fight or flight” mode.

Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rush through the body. The heart beat, breathing rate, and blood pressure increases. Blood and energy is diverted away from things like digestion and the immune system to places like muscles which may need extra energy to escape danger. This response is designed to be short-lived, only on for a few minutes at a time.

The problem is that most of the time we are stressed, our bodies are not in physical

The Science Behind the Power Nap

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to take a nap, but don’t feel like you have the time? You are probably like a lot of Americans who find they are lagging in the late afternoon – tired, lethargic, irritable, brain turned to mush – sound familiar?

Before you turn to the vending machines or a nasty energy drink that just postpones the crash, try a short nap instead. These naps are not only free, but quick and extremely effective, even more effective in fact, than