What is stress?
How do we best define it when it is so different for everyone? What can we do to reduce the effects of it so our bodies don’t go into reaction? And what can we do to actually have a sense of control so stress doesn’t seem to be running the show?
I’ll give you some historical background about how stress came to be recognized as a “condition” in our country. Then, I’ll share some easy-to-use self-help acupressure energy tips for changing how we can transform stress from a negative to positive. Transforming stress is a bit different from how Western medicine suggests we can manage it! And, when we get to that place of management, we truly are partners with our bodies.
Stress Awareness Month
It has been held every April since 1992. Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to:
- inform people about the dangers of stress
- successful coping strategies
- harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.
Medical Definition of Stress
In a medical or biological context, stress is a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the “fight or flight” response.
The state of mental or emotional strain or tension from adverse or very demanding circumstances can be so recognizable that others notice. We even hear comments like “he’s obviously under a lot of stress” and “she really needs to figure out how to manage her stress.”
Stress can cause or influence the course of many medical conditions. These include psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Medical problems can encompass poor healing, high blood pressure, headaches and migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, and many others. We now have “stress management” recognized as an effective treatment for many medical conditions.
To read more about stress and how the Western medical world defines it, go to
Articles that include tools for self-assessment, resources, and programs, can be found on the website for The American Institute of Stress. The organization is all about awareness, education, and collaboration.
Stress as a Project
Personally, I like to look at “stress” as a “project that can be transformed.” The term stress was coined by Hans Selye in 1936. He defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. If we look at stress as “the rate of wear and tear on the body,” it makes sense that increased stress can actually accelerate the aging process.
And who wants that? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather walk around in a body that does not have major reactions to stressful situations. All of the experimental and clinical research confirms that the sense of having little or no control is always distressful, and that’s what stress is all about.
Energy Tips to Manage and Transform Stress
Here are my self-help acupressure energy tips that you can use to manage stress. They will allow you to be a partner with your own body. Because stress can take the breath away and cause us to wait with bated breath, follow along to learn how you can have full expansive breath. You’ll be way ahead of stress and its ability to affect you.
To help let go of stress, open up breath, release tension and increase vitality:
1. Hold upper arms by folding arms across the chest
2. Right hand — cup sternum directly below the collarbone
Left hand — hold fingers in a vertical pattern on your tummy
3. Right hand — hold the base of the right front ribcage
Left hand — hold fingers on the right chest below the collarbone
4. Gently cup thumbs
More than an Ounce of Prevention
The Daily Clean Your House Flow helps you stay in balance and get in front of stress. Doing the Daily Clean Your House Flow prepares your body for what you’re going to ask it to do now and for what might come at it (even major stressful traumatic events). Do the Daily Clean Your House Flow at least once a day. It will create a strong foundation for you to be able to be the best partner you can be with your body. I have been doing it daily for more than 20 years, as have many of my clients, friends, and family. This one practice is the best antidote to stress and you can do it anywhere, anytime. The more you do it, the better you will feel.
Do your part to Make Stress Awareness Month Obsolete
Share this post about the Daily Clean Your House Flow with the people you care about through your social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You’ll be glad you did your part to lower the stress in the world.