In Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life, I invite you on a journey of discovery to find a context for your stress, understand it, manage it and put it to good use rather than suffering from it. The journey begins with an exploration of what stress is and how the term originated. Two kinds of stress appear in your life. Our journey visits stress which lies in wait along your life path and stress you invite into your life for various reasons, some good and some bad.
You will discover ways in which stress affects your body, your mind, your emotions and your soul. You will also see ways in which stress can benefit you. Then on to three ways of dealing with stress: avoiding it, facing it directly and transforming it into something helpful. The journey ends with possibilities for stress in the future. I have also included life lab lessons along the way, activities to help you deal with stress.
Here is what you will find:
• Why is stress such a big deal for everyone these days? In Chapter 1, we will visit the controversy over whether we have more or less stress than our ancestors and whether stress is an epidemic. I will share a little about my personal journey with stress. We will also consider dealing with stress as a way to a more peaceful life.
• What is stress and how can I recognize it? In Chapter 2, I will consider with you the dictionary definition of stress and early research on stress. You will also learn how to recognize that you are under stress even if it doesn’t feel that way.
• Can stress overtake my life when I am not looking? In Chapter 3, you will come to understand stress which finds you in your daily life without your invitation. Anything new in your life is somewhat stressful to some degree at least for a while and life is a series of changes.
• Am I responsible for my stress? You choose a certain degree of stress with each choice you make in life as you will see in Chapter 4. You might not like stress, but sometimes it comes attached to changes you make in order to better your life. You will see which of your choices come with a stress price tag attached.
• What does stress do to my body? Your body has a whole range of responses to stress and an arsenal of ways to combat stress. In Chapter 5 you will learn about the connection between stress and your body and how it reacts to stress.
• What about my mind? If you think back to the last time you felt under stress, you will recall your mind working furiously for a solution. In Chapter 6, you will learn more about how stress affects your thinking.
• How does stress affect my feelings? Under stress, all sorts of troublesome feelings make themselves painfully known. Learn to understand your feelings and emotions as they relate to stress in Chapter 7.
• How about my soul? Lately people have come to realize that their bodies and minds are not the only victims of stress. Making sense of your life, including stress, may well involve finding a spiritual context for it. See how in Chapter 8.
• Is stress ever a good thing? Learn how it can save your life. Stress can also help motivate you to accomplish things you might not otherwise attempt. See how to use stress to your benefit in Chapter 9.
• Can I avoid stress? You can, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways of doing so. Learn the difference in Chapter 10.
• If I can’t avoid stress, how can I take it on and defeat it? You already have most of the tools you will need lying around. In Chapter 11, you will learn how to find and use them.
• Can I change stress into something more useful in my life? Yes you can. It takes a little imagination and work, but you can do it. Learn how to transform your stress in Chapter 12.
• Will my life keep getting more stressful in the future? Not necessarily. It depends on choices we make for ourselves and for our world. Learn what they are in Chapter 13.