Stress has become ubiquitous in everyday life due to our increasingly complex society and volatile economic climate. There are multiple approaches for managing stress. Integral Psychology, based on ancient yogic knowledge, proposes a view of stress, and our relationship to stress, which paves the way for a holistic approach to stress management.
Integral Psychology provides a philosophical foundation taking into consideration body, mind, soul and spirit. It also integrates a western cognitive and pragmatic approach with an eastern, introspective and spiritual approach to holistic well-being and evolving toward our higher potential.
We are here to help you manage your stress holistically and effectively. To book a session call Margot Borden or fill out the contact form and click Send.
Inner and Outer Sources of Stress
The sources of our stress can stem from our inner space in the form of fears, doubts, negative self-talk and lack of ability to keep an objective view in the face of what arises in our path. Outer stress, on the other hand originates in our environment, our workplace, home and society. Generally, stress – by the time it comes to our awareness – is already at crisis level, wreaking havoc in our heads, bodies and lives. Identifying the primary cause of our stress and being aware of our stress mechanisms are the first important step in dealing with the problem. When we identify the cause or grasp an understanding of anything that makes us suffer, we feel less destabilized by it and we are empowered to determine a way forward.
Stress can trigger survival mode. In this state we contract, clamp down, struggle, fight, try to control and lose sight of the bigger picture. In survival mode, we do not have the objectivity we need to effectively manage and get beyond this state. In turn, this affects our attitudes and behavior. It can lead to some pretty messy situations and just plain short-sightedness.
Tools for Stress Management
There are many tools available for working with stress management. Cognitive tools provide us with a more constructive understanding of the issues at hand. Assertiveness skills can help us address issues with our peers and colleagues. Non-violent communication skills can also reduce stress. Lifestyle change such as engaging in physical activity, yoga, diet, and reducing our consumption of stimulants and sugar can help alleviate stress. We can learn techniques to help us free up any deep, underlying issues within us that stressful situations trigger.
Deep breathing is my favorite technique for working with stress. It is easy and can provide immediate relief. Deep breathing helps us to let go from within, harmonizes the nervous system and helps us get back on track.
Breathwork is not just an effective “quick fix” in moments of contraction and stress. In a therapeutic context it is a powerful yet gentle means of liberating both conscious and unconscious thoughts and even stresses contained in our cellular and muscular memory. These thoughts and memories are widely regarded as the underlying cause of disharmony in our system, both mental and physical. By addressing the underlying causes of our stress and developing effective stress management tools, we open up space in our lives and reserves of energy that help us realize our full potential in all areas of life.
Breathwork Exercise: Five Deep Breaths
This breathwork exercise is very simple and quick. It simply releases tension and stress. It creates cardiac coherence (harmony between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems) and slows down the aging process too!
- Take 5 deep breaths into the heart area
- How do you feel?
You can do this exercise anywhere, anytime to help you relax and cope with intense situations. I don’t recommend doing it while on the telephone!!!
Holistic Stress Management
A holistic approach to stress management can be developed through practical analysis and introspective observation. Consulting a specialist will provide you with essential insights into your unique relationship to stress and practical tools for effective stress management.
Holistic stress management should address both inner and outer causes of stress and propose practical, easy-to-apply ways of adjusting our thoughts and attitudes, addressing the deep, underlying patterns that get triggered when we are under stress and an action plan for gently addressing the elements in our environment that can be brought to balance.
A pro-active approach to stress helps us to feel empowered and take responsibility. In addition, Eastern techniques for cultivating awareness and relaxation provide essential elements for your holistic stress management program. You will soon be on your way to understanding and managing stress – and leading to a more bountiful life.
Get Help Managing Your Stress
Consider Margot as your resource for holistic, effective stress management. To get started, call Margot today, or fill out the contact form and click Send. We look forward to helping you make a positive life change!