StressBusters - System D

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Anxiety is caused by certain events in our lives.  They can be different for everyone.  Events at work, with family and many others cause Stressors and these stressors are what causes stress.   We need to have some stress in our lives, but too much of anything can be bad. The goal is to have stress, but too much of it leads to distress.  Distress causes an uncomfortable tension that we try to escape and, preferably, avoid.  Humans are programmed with basic survival skills.  When frightened, heart rate and blood pressure rise to provide more blood to the muscles.  We get a shot of performance-enhancing hormones, and the blood pumps to our limbs to help us.  In its most primal form, this allows us to outrun whatever enemy we face. In modern times, however, we're hardly aware of such natural skills, and most of us do little to understand or develop them.  Stressors will send us into "fight or flight" mode.   As the body responds to what caused us to fight or flee, it releases stored fuels (sugar and fats) to provide quick energy; breathing rate increases to supply more oxygen to the blood; muscle tension increases to prepare for action; blood clotting mechanisms are activated to reduce bleeding from cuts; senses become more acute so that we are more aware of our surroundings.  This protective posture lets a person cope with potential dangers.  A mental attitude that is positive in nature and appropriate in its perspective for a given situation is a vital priority for survival.  People have the power to will themselves to live.  To survive, one must be able to focus on survival, visualize the future and maintain the will to live no matter what the circumstances.   Coupling Positive Mental Attitude with proper education, training and experience will increase your odds.

Stress can inspire you to operate successfully and perform at your maximum efficiency. Distress causes you to panic and forget all your training.  Stressors are not courteous; one stressor does not leave because another one arrives.  Stressors add up.  Anticipating stressors and developing strategies to cope with them are two ingredients in the effective management of stress.  It is therefore essential that any person be aware of the types of anxiety they encounter on a regular basis and try to mitigate or even better eliminate them.  If you cannot eliminate, use techniques that can get your mind off of what is causing your anxiety, therefore reducing its effects.  Take a walk in nature (while currently keeping “healthy” distancing), practice breathing techniques, meditate, exercise, listen to soothing music, learn a skill that can take you to a “different place”, and more…

What you set your mind to is the limit!

Stress is a condition we all experience.

Stress can be described as our reaction to pressure.  It is the name given to the experience we have as we physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually respond to life's tensions.

We need stress because it has many positive benefits.  Stress provides us with challenges.  Stress can show our ability to handle pressure without breaking; it tests our adaptability and flexibility; it can stimulate us to do our best.  Because we usually do not consider unimportant events stressful, stress highlights what is important to us.

Survivors are people who work with their stresses instead of letting stresses work on them.

We Choose Our Path

All of us have the ability to use our mind as a valuable tool or have it work against us as a feared enemy.  We are creatures of habit but it is never too late for changing our “bad” habits, values and attitudes to ones that will produce Positive Mental Attitude while under stress.

Maintaining a PMA is the vital ingredient to successful emergency response as well as better everyday living.

A “can do” attitude will carry you much further.

Staying calm involves some prior practice such as breathing exercises and meditation.  These techniques help lower your heart rate.  Listening to soothing music or sounds of nature can help as well and do not require practice.

We humans, are social animals.  We enjoy the company of others.  Very few people want to be alone all the time!  As you are aware, there is a distinct chance of isolation in a survival setting.  This is not bad.  Loneliness and boredom can bring to the surface qualities you thought only others had.  The extent of your imagination and creativity may surprise you.  When required to do so, you may discover some hidden talents and abilities.  Most of all, you may tap into a reservoir of inner strength and fortitude you never knew you had.

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality” Seneca.

Just like you’ve heard of defensive driving, you can implement defensive living.  Defensive living is the ability to recognize certain situations as potentially challenging or hazardous.  It implies using your brain to make the proper choices and have the skills and knowledge to deal with those adverse situations sometimes preventing them from reaching a high level of risk or danger.

The goal is to create habits of forethought, awareness, preparedness and alertness to cope with situations that can threaten or affect our lives.

In this stressbusters program I have combined breathing techniques learned over 50+ years of playing trumpet and 40+ years since studying with a Zen master with listening to soothing music.  This program has until now only been taught in live settings but I have been asked to try and bring it into a digital format, so I added videos of nature and “instructions”.  This is the result.

The goal is to get you to De-Stress not Distress

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