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The five R’s of dealing with stress

Introduction

Stress is a combination of three things; (1) a potentially threatening stressor, (2) your inability to cope with the threat, and (3) a response that mobilizes energy to fight or flee from the threat.

Anything can be a potential stressor and trigger a stress response under the right circumstances. All possible stressors have one thing in common; they threaten you somehow. What your mind tells you about your ability to cope with the threat determines whether or not it triggers a stress response.

To conquer your stress and thrive, not just survive in a stressful world, you need a stress management program that does three things:

– unleash the power of your mind to stop thinking stressful

eliminates stress-related tension and energy in a healthy way

– turns your stressors into challenges that motivate you, instead of stressing you out

Cope with stress

Years ago I developed a stress-busting program called The Five Rs of Coping which does all three. The program uses five different levels of coping that will teach you how to overcome your stress and thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Tea Five R’s is it so:

Rethink

Relax

Reduce

Release

Reorganize

Each R contains several different strategies that work independently or can be combined to create a comprehensive personal stress management plan.

Rethink

Rethink strategies to overcome your stress, use the power of your mind to short-circuit the stress response before it even begins. Your brain is a powerful organ that can create and overcome stress. When you’re exposed to a potential stressor, your mind instantly answers two questions:

  1. “Is this threatening or harmful to me?”
  2. “Can I face it?”

If the answers are; “yes, it’s threatening” and “no, I can’t cope”, your brain will instantly trigger a stress response. The answers your mind gives to these two questions will determine whether or not you will feel stressed. Often times what your mind tells you about these two questions is inaccurate, illogical, and unhelpful.

Rethinking strategies work by helping you understand how your mind works when you think about stress. You can learn to avoid short-circuiting your stress response by changing the way you think about the useless messages your mind gives you about threatening and harmful situations and your ability to handle them.

Relax

Relaxation strategies to overcome stress teach you how to activate a relaxation response that puts your body in a relaxed state and nullifies the effects of stress. Because the relaxation response is the exact opposite of the stress response, you cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time.

When you put your body in a relaxed state on a regular basis, you cancel out all the harmful health effects of stress (increased blood pressure, hormone release, muscle tension, etc.). In a sense, this is like recharging batteries when stress drains them of energy. Relaxation strategies, such as diaphragmatic breathing, breath meditation, and visualization, are easy to learn and will slow your rampant mind and relax tense muscles.

Release

Unleash strategies to conquer your stress by providing a positive physical outlet for the energy and muscle tension produced by the stress response. The stress response is to mobilize energy to fight or flee from stressors. This energy and the tension it creates makes you nervous and makes it difficult to focus, focus, and sleep at night.

Release strategies, such as vigorous exercise and sex, are healthy outlets that use up this energy and release this tension in beneficial ways. Making sure you release the byproducts of stress on a regular basis helps you regain focus and the ability to rest and sleep when you need it.

Reduce

Reduction strategies teach you how to minimize the amount of stress in your life while maximizing the things you are passionate about. Reduction strategies teach you how to turn your stressors into challenges. Most people spend a lot of valuable time on activities and thoughts that drain their energy and create stress. By reducing the volume of these stressors in your life, you can free up the time and energy you want and need to focus on the things that you are passionate about and challenging.

When you are involved in too many pointless activities and have too many useless demands on your time, you become overloaded and begin to lose your zest for living and the ability to have fun. Reduction strategies teach you how to find the perfect balance between work and play, and how to start feeling passionate and challenged about life again.

Reorganize

Reorganize your strategies to conquer your stress, which revolve around robust health habits that make you more resistant to stress. Resilient health habits give you more energy and other resources to deal with stress. For example, a key health habit is to exercise 30 minutes a day.

Experts recommend combining resistance exercises like walking or jogging at a moderate pace with 8-10 strength training exercises like lifting weights. By incorporating this resilient health habit into your lifestyle, you will have more energy, need less sleep, and have greater mental focus. These three benefits will help you overcome stress. Other resilient health habits work the same way.

For more information on these Five Rs, please contact me using the information below.

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