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Overcome Stress

sky with clouds

What can the earth's atmospheric pressure
teach us about reducing stress?

February 2018
The atmosphere continuously presses against us.
We need not worry because the body naturally maintains equilibrium.

People respond to stress differently. One person can be exhilarated by a roller coaster ride, while another is terrified. The way the body naturally maintains equilibrium against any changes in atmospheric pressure can inspire you to approach stress in the same way your body deals with it.

Moving from higher to lower altitudes, the body naturally adjusts itself to changes in the air pressure. Heart rate and breathing will increase or decrease naturally in response to alterations in blood oxygen. Through dreaming too, the mind releases accumulated tension. We shiver when cold and sweat when hot. Without doing anything, the body naturally takes care of itself.

To have an idea of how stress affects the body, try this experiment: stand in a doorway with your arms out and your palms down. Press the outside of your wrists against the doorframe for just one minute. What happens when you move away from the door? Your arms fly up all by themselves. This occurs because brain activity continues to send impulses to areas concerned with making and planning movements. This happens even while you are no longer pushing against anything.

In the same way, stress, real or imagined, connects mental processes to physical impulses. Muscle groups contract to push out against a force that may not even be present. This can lead to headaches, body aches and chronic fatigue.

Sure, the atmosphere pushes against you, but what happens when you feel the need to constantly exert pressure against the environment? Being tense and expecting difficulty, you may experience anxiety by simply going into the grocery store and standing in line. It is not events that have captured your focus - you are attached to some sort of outcome that should have been released long ago.

Anxiety can be funded by an abnormal response to stimuli and stress can have negative impacts on the body. If you can spend time in a peaceful environment without any external stresses, you will discover just how much stress you generate on your own. When you feel stressed, observe your surroundings because chances are, there is nothing life threatening taking place. Circumstances have a way of always working out. You know this from experience.

Stress begins with perception and if your response to events gets out of sync, an adjustment in perspective may be in order. Tension takes form when your mind has wandered far away from the task at hand. As it wanders into the past and future rather than being present, stress reflects the energy of a mind trying to be somewhere it shouldn't be.

You may believe that stress heightens your focus and productivity, when it actually depletes you of energy and leads to burnout. The next time you walk out of the house, meet the atmosphere for what it really is. Nothing squashes you because your body naturally evens out all the changes in pressure. Without any conscious thought on your part, you breathe, blink, circulate blood and your body regenerates itself.

Take a breath and release your tension – getting worked up really isn’t necessary. Let your reactions dissolve until they no longer disturb your unobstructed view of the present. Real power comes from becoming the master of your response. No matter the difficulty, you have been designed by nature to move in harmony with whatever unfolds. And it always has your well being as part of its endless thrust toward abundance.

Like the lake, be anchored to a powerful and peaceful center,
regardless of the changes taking place upon the surface.

Observe where your mind is roosting. Each time you find yourself looking at the clock, remember that the time is now. If you feel stress, ask yourself: “Are my thoughts in the future; are my thoughts in the past?” Let worry be a reminder to return to your center – root yourself in the moment. Worry is the wandering and misplaced energy of a mind trying to be somewhere it is not. The resulting tension you may feel - is just the tugging of a mind that has wandered where it shouldn't be.