Tips" for Coping
with the Stress of War and Terrorism
by Bryan Brewer, Self-Guided.com
Many of us feel that we have little control
over the stressful events unfolding on the world stage today. Although
it can be empowering to take political action or prepare for an emergency,
such actions often don't do much to diminish our feelings of stress. These
ten inner tips -- drawn from the books and recordings of Joel Levey and
Michelle Levey -- provide specific ways you can manage your own responses
to these events, and thus lower your overall levels of stress and anxiety.
information about each of these tips is available at www.self-guided.com.
Some include links where you can listen to guided imagery relaxation recordings
Please feel free to pass on these tips to anyone
who you think might benefit from them.
short relaxation breaks to let go of tension.
This is easy when you remember to use your breath as your guide. Whenever
you notice you are getting stressed or anxious, just (1) stop and pause for
a moment, (2) take in a deep breath, and (3) slowly exhale, releasing any
tension you may be carrying. Use spare moments throughout the day to breathe
away tension or to recall pleasant images and memories that will help soothe
you. You can also practice relaxation guided imagery to calm your mind and
body. By reducing your overall anxiety level in these ways, you will be better
able to deal with stressful information and world events.
in a mind-body practice to relieve stress.
We all know that exercise is healthy. In addition, there are many practices
and techniques that specifically enhance the mind-body connection and help
relieve stress. These include such activities as tai chi, yoga, walking meditation,
ecstatic dance, walking a labyrinth
as well as focused sports performance
and playing a musical instrument. The most effective techniques will get
you in touch with a "felt sense" of your aliveness in your body.
Performing these and other mind-body activities in a natural setting gives
an added soothing and balancing benefit.
time to care for yourself to restore balance in your life.
Providing good self-care is not selfish. If you are totally stressed
out, you wont have much left over to give to yourself or to others.
Its important to take the time to do something you love to do something
just for you at least once a day. Go for a leisurely walk, get a massage,
listen to some favorite music, take a long hot bath, get a manicure, take
a nap, or do any other healthy activity that gives you energy. This will
increase the balance in your life, thus helping you to better deal with anxiety
the healing power of mindfulness to reduce anxiety.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to whatever you are experiencing
in the moment. The method is to simply notice the ever-changing flow of your
mental, emotional, and physical experiences as you go about your daily life.
Although deceptively simple, the practice of mindfulness is a crucial tool
for discovering and sustaining balance in your life. By helping you learn
to recognize the subtle "whispers" of tension, worry, or stress
before they can turn into "screams," the practice of mindfulness
offers many health benefits, including the ability to reduce your stress
and calm your anxiety.
gratitude as a powerful antidote to fear.
When you give thanks, it is difficult to also feel fear at the same time.
A heartfelt sense of appreciation that connects you with what is good and
right in your life will help restore harmony and balance in both your mind
and your body. Remember to be thankful for the many blessings already present
in your life.
when you tell yourself "stories that dont need to happen."
The stress of war and terrorism can
easily lead the mind to imagine all sorts of unpleasant outcomes, which in
turn leads to more worry and anxiety. To interrupt this unproductive mental
feedback loop, simply recognize and then release such thoughts by saying
to yourself, "This is a story that doesnt need to happen." The
trick is not to suppress negative thoughts or deny them, but to simply honor
them and then let them go. And when a desirable story arises in your inner
dialogue, recognize it and then release it by saying to yourself, "Yes,
this is a healing story."
a sense of compassion to increase your resilience.
If you can open and expand your heart even
just a little to the true humanness of others, it can transform your
attitude toward yourself as well. Cultivating a sense of compassion will
expand your horizons and connect you to a larger concept of yourself. This
in turn will ease your own stress and anxiety, and allow you to have a greater
range of choices in how you respond to any situation.
relaxing activities before bedtime to get better sleep.
Our curious minds naturally want to
know the latest news and how it might affect us. Its a basic survival
instinct. But its also important to get a good nights rest, and
watching TV news at night before bedtime can be detrimental to the quality
of your sleep. A better survival strategy is to catch up on the news during
the day, and in the evening focus on relaxing or mentally uplifting activities.
Instead of watching TV news at night, try listening to music, reading a book,
or watching a non-violent movie. You are likely to sleep better, have more
pleasant dreams, and awaken more refreshed and thus be better able
to cope with daily stress.
beyond the immediate to find the deeper meaning.
This tip is really about finding your
faith and trusting it. Call upon any higher powers that have significance
for you, and ask for guidance to be able to see the deeper meaning of events
in your own life and in the world at large. Imagine looking down at the Earth
from outer space and being able to sense the unseen forces constantly at
work for the greatest good of all creation. Applying a "big picture" perspective
to your thoughts and actions helps you gain a sense of inner peace.
your mental powers to Envision Global Peace.
Your thoughts have power over your own body. Consider also that your
thoughts may have a positive effect on other things as well. The healing
power of prayer is widely acknowledged in all cultures, and is gaining greater
acceptance in medical and scientific circles. We all want peace. Use your
mental powers to radiate your own love out into the world to Envision Global
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