By Jason Tivis
“There is a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable and that the next generation must lower their sights.” –Tony Robbins
In today’s society, I’m noticing more and more the negative way people are thinking. I’m not just talking about gas prices, or the economy, or even the two wars our country is in. I’m talking about the general way in which we as a society think.
It’s almost as if pessimistic attitudes have become a birthright, and people compete to see who has it worse! This is called ‘stinkin thinkin’ and it is killing more and more Americans every year. And I don’t just say that for effect. Literally, people are dying at higher rates or visiting hospitals on a regular basis because of one word…Stress!
Stress is something that used to be used as a defense mechanism in the caveman days (and is still used by animals today) as a source of “fight or flight.” One would either fight to chase down one’s dinner or use the flight portion to avoid becoming dinner.
However, in today’s society, that fight or flight switch is stuck in the “on” position and therefore is creating nasty toxins (namely cortisol) to release into the body which causes disease, premature aging, and the dreaded “f” word (fat). Yes, you read that correctly, stress can indeed cause you to become fat and diseased.
So what to do?
The answer is simple; however, the application of the answer is not. The simple answer is to eliminate the bad stress from your life! Sounds simple enough when everything is going perfect in your life. But what about when the bills are due and you don’t have the money, your parents are ill and depending on you financially and emotionally, and your job is not ideal for your personality type?
Well, I’m not a doctor, but I am an expert on stress, and one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) antidotes to stress is simply slowing down and breathing. Not the shallow breaths you are surely taking all day long, but nice deep breaths that fill your belly and lungs and a nice slow exhale. This method of breathing has been shown to slow down heart rates, lower blood pressure, and slow down the mind to keep racing thoughts at bay.
While you are breathing, tell yourself things are not as bad as they seem (even if things really are bad, fake it till you make it)! Think warm, caring thoughts and think about where you want to be in life…not where you currently are. Studies have shown the human brain cannot discern the difference between an actual event happening or a deep thought about something happening.
So next time you feel that anxious rush welling up inside of you, remember, things can get better with the simplicity of a slow, deep breath!