Give more attention to stress – we can help.
Stress comes from the things that demand our attention. In addition to multi-tasking, we deal with many new developments coming from all directions. Most of us take in more than the daily news — we go looking for all kinds of information on the web. It builds up, in the computer of your brain, and all that mental stimuli can produce emotional and physical tension.
But what do you do about renewal? High levels of stress cause a large number of problems; the most common outcome is tension. How often do you reduce, or even notice the tension that accumulates?
Tension is like unfinished business… while I’m focused on other things, it doesn’t get my attention. When my work is finished, that’s when I can relax. When I spend hours on the computer without a break, I ache; maybe when I stop, I can try to dissolve the tension. But before getting to that point, I just continued what I was doing and ignored the stress; and I often repeat the pattern of neglect and tension-building. Is there really anything preventing me from taking a break?
The solution is to pause —
taking an effective break, or frequent pauses, will make a difference.
Resolving stress is about learning, first of all, that unless we notice the signs of tension, it will affect us on more than just a physical level. The second level of learning is to recognize that something more is required. Neglect will lead to pain, and that will affect your emotions… so stress is likely to cause discomfort and conflict when there’s denial. Sometimes we only learn what caused that conflict when it’s too late.
Stress and Renewal
Not only are we steeped in the intensity of gripping social and economic issues, we have had a decade of war, so we have been surrounded by tension and conflict every day. Isn’t it time to learn more about how to deal with burn-out, so we know better ways to handle the numbing effects of stress? There are such lessons. One aspect of our approach to wellness is teaching this: reducing the emotional and mental stimuli, and helping frayed nerves to heal. We recover from the strain of tension by restoring ease to both the mind and body.
Yoga also does this; it gives a lot of consideration to the inner experience. Yoga is considered an aspect of re-educationin the somatic field. After all, it is the integrative study of mind and body. In the past 20 years, a large number of advances in this field have emerged – human development studies say that mind and body are not separate, and much of this has been learned from yoga practice. Now many of us use this as a remedy for all the social conflict and turmoil that surrounds us.
But there are other direct ways to improve your wellness — they all involve reducing stress. All forms of relaxation provide multiple benefits. Slowing down is what is involved in taking a break. The ability to be still can begin with either the mind or the body, because they closely influence each other. Relaxation can probably add years to your life: improving your work, becoming better acquainted with yourself, being more open to others, and being able to listen patiently. This is all much more difficult when we suffer from tension, obviously.
The opposite of contraction is expansion… explore what relaxation can do to create a little time and space.