In this article, How to Stress Relief, you discover what stress is, how negative stress occurs and how it is related to conflict. You will also discover a simple way that is highly effective and rapid in reducing stress.
- Stress vs Conflict
- Good vs Bad Stress
- The First Level of Stress
- The Fight Flight Reflex & Adrenalin
- Recognising The Stress Emotions – A Key To Your Wellbeing
- Relationship Stress vs Conflict
- Moving Through Stress & Conflict
- Stress Release Tool for Anger
- How to Easily Release Fear
Stress vs Conflict
If there is a high level of conflict in your relationship, my guess is that there is also a high level of stress. What comes first the stress or conflict?
Firstly, let’s look at what stress is.
Good vs Bad Stress
There are two forms of stress: good and bad
Good stress occurs when you step outside of your comfort zone. It helps you to grow, creates positive change, increases your level of wellbeing and moves you towards your potential, whereas bad stress has a negative impact not only mentally, but emotionally and physically too. Below where I write stress I am relating to bad stress.
The First Level of Stress
I believe there are two levels of stress. The first level of stress occurs whenever you perceive any form of danger. The part of the brain called the reptilian brain constantly scans your environment. It’s number one job is to keep you safe and alive, and to automatically respond whenever you feel threatened.
The Fight Flight Reflex & Adrenalin
Whenever you perceive danger the fight/flight reflex automatically stimulates adrenalin to be released into your blood stream. It’s job is to prepare your body for either fleeing or fighting. Physiologically, blood is pumped to your muscles to provide more energy and is drawn away from the rest of your body; your senses become sharper; and your heart rate and breathing increase.
Recognising The Stress Emotions – A Key To Your Wellbeing
Emotionally, the fight response automatically creates anger and the flight response automatically creates fear. Asking yourself if you are angry or fearful is a key to knowing when adrenalin is circulating your body and creating stress.
In our society, the fight/flight mechanism is largely ignored as it is not acceptable to express physical anger or to run away, and is rarely expressed unless what is being faced is an extreme situation. So many people are suffering as a consequence as the adrenalin that circulates the body during stress needs to be used for the body to come back to proper homeostasis (balance). On top of this, our culture is mesmerised by the desire to drink coffee, eat chocolate and other adrenal simulating things which adds to the problem of stress.
Relationship Stress -v- Conflict
When there is conflict in your relationship – noticing the emotion you are feeling will help you to determine if you are having a fight/flight response. So, I invite you to think about a challenge or an issue in your relationship. Is the primary emotion you are feeling fear or anger? If so, rate it out of 10: 10/10 being 100% stressful.
Note that the fight emotions could range from frustration, irritation, impatience, hatred and rage, and the fear emotions can range from worry, discouragement, insecurity, unworthiness, and being petrified.
A KEY: Ask yourself with regard to the conflict or issue what you perceive the danger to be? Is the danger real right this moment or was the danger at a different time in your life that hasn’t been resolved? Or is there really no danger at all? Did the perceived danger create the conflict or issue? Understanding this will help you put the conflict into perspective. Knowing how to release the related stress will also help to relieve the conflict.
Moving Through Stress & Conflict
There is a very simple process for releasing stress that I have discovered not only with working through my own stress, but with my clients. Time and time again this simple strategy reduces stress rapidly.
I invite you to think of the challenge again.
If you feel angry or fearful about the situation adrenalin is running around your body right now and at some level you need to either run or fight.
Rate the intensity of the challenge out of 10: 10/10 is your highest challenge.
Easy Stress Release for Anger
Here’s a simple visualisation to release anger. Instead of using up the adrenalin physically by fighting you can do a visualision instead. The great thing about this is that your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is physically real and what is imagined. This has been scientifically validated with professional basketball players visualising shooting instead of physically doing it.
Stress Release Tool for Anger
*Please read the caution below before using this tool
This is what I do when I feel anger.
- So firstly, I imagine a log lying on its side.
- Then I feel the weight of the axe in my hands.
- As I swing the axe above my head I feel the exertion of my muscles and the axe hitting the wood.
- My feet are wide apart and bracing to support my body.
- I allow my angry thoughts to come up (silently to myself) and feel the anger in my body.
- Sometimes, the energy of the anger is so full-on that the visualisation feels almost exhilarating
- I keep chopping the log and feel the anger in my body starting to dissipate. My angry thoughts also start to settle down usually within a minute or two.
- Once the anger is down I check back to what had started it and notice my response.
- Then I get back into it if it’s not fully gone, but notice how the energy has diminished and the chopping has slowed down.
- The angry voice in my head has also dissipated and the chopping slows down even more and then stops.
- I check back in again to the cause of the anger and notice that my attitude has changed; even my beliefs have shifted and can see the situation in a different light.
- Sometimes, other emotions come up and so I take more time to allow these emotions to clear. I call these emotions the second level of stress.
Try using this tool next time you feel angry*.
Rapidly Releasing Fear
This tool is more in depth, but the basis of it is imagining running to use up the adrenalin in your body.
After the Fight/Flight Response
Once the fight/flight reflex has settled, the mind evaluates the situation and that’s when, I believe, the other emotions are created. Science has shown that emotions are basically chemicals that are released from the brain into the bloodstream and attach onto the receptors of the cells. So when you feel emotion you are feeling these chemicals. I have a simple process to unlock emotional chemicals from your body which rapidly clears them.
I’ve included a simple exercise in this blog post Stressful Relationship? An Easy Tip to Reduce Stress and Improve Your Connection.
*If you have a high level of anger: 7/10 or more, I recommend that you contact me for a session. Sessions are available worldwide through zoom which is available for your phone or computer and is free to use. https://zoom.us
I love to answer any questions you may have or reply to any comments, so please post them below.
Much blessings on your relationship