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Triumph Over Stress

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Nicole stumbled into my examination room clutching her stomach. She\’d had severe abdominal cramps for over two weeks. Tense and anxious, Nicole was convinced that she had developed some terrible disease like cancer.

Nicole stumbled into my examination room clutching her stomach. She\’d had severe abdominal cramps for over two weeks. Tense and anxious, Nicole was convinced that she had developed some terrible disease like cancer.

She had recently been forced to move out of her parents\’ house because of a conflict with her father. Nicole\’s boss expressed his dissatisfaction with her performance several times a day and was issuing warnings and threats, and now, as the end of the month approached, she worried that she might not be able to pay her rent. She looked a fright not only anxious, tense, and depressed but in excruciating pain and all because of stress.

Stressed Out

Scientists have consistently advised that stress is not in the situation we face but rather in our response to it. As we face one irritant after another, tension mounts, and more of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are produced, eventually resulting in physiological breakdown. Often, it is our responses to the minor, mundane irritants of life that produce disease.

The good news is that you can change the way you respond to stressful circumstances. Even if, like Nicole, you feel your life is falling apart, you can take control and reverse the negative effects that your reactions to life\’s challenges have had on your body. Stress may be affecting your heart, blood pressure, or energy levels, but you do not have to be a victim just because your life is difficult at the moment. You can win against stress.

Tame the Tension

Endeavour to increase your awareness of what is going on in your body. Wherever you go, carry your awareness with you. Learn to listen diligently to your body to detect the slightest whimper of stress before it takes root.

Remember that you have the power to change your physiological and hormonal responses to whatever is going on around you. When you understand that you can control your reactions to stress-inducing situations, you will experience fewer negative effects from life\’s inevitable trials.

As soon as a difficult event or situation presents itself, tell yourself, \”I can handle this.\” Immediately take control and apply the TRIUMPH technique. Deliberately think of happy events and situations and act happy, even in tough times; happiness is the antidote to stress.

The TRIUMPH technique is an exercise that you can practise in a few seconds, and if you consistently do so, you will never, like Nicole, have to face the severe physiological consequences of stress.

The TRIUMPH Technique

T – Take a deep breath
R – Relax as you exhale
I – Imagine the tension leaving your body
U – Look up and smile
M – Mark the heaviness of your arms and legs
P – Perfect your posture
H – Harmonize your thoughts and feel happiness in the moment

With practise, you can reverse the stress response in 11 seconds using this technique.

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Linda Barbara

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