FACTOID: Stress and dissatisfaction levels in the workplace are currently at 65%. That’s up from the mid 40’s in 1987. Obvious conclusion: Stress is on the rise.
Recently, a friend landed in an ER after trying to do himself in. My upset around his action led me to write a laundry list of Things That Matter. Again. As someone who practices acupuncture and hypnosis in New York, I need to maintain a sense of internal balance if I am to emphasize its value to others. Reminding myself of what’s important in this life, at this time, helps me do that.
During one post-attempt conversation I had with my friend, he said something in passing that struck me. While still in ER he had shared with a doctor his dread of going to the psychiatric ward, which was surely full of ‘disturbed folk’.
“Don’t worry,” the Doc replied, “those guys up there aren’t really crazy.”
That stopped my friend. “Then why are they here?’”
“Many of them are Wall Street guys who lost their jobs, their money, their home or their family in last year’s crash. They’re just stressed beyond belief.”
We all know how money insanity has gripped our culture. And the current economy has everyone obsessed with getting cash, holding onto it, getting it back, keeping jobs, angling for new work, etc., etc. This intensity is part of our survival mechanism. And when survival is threatened, we react with extreme stress. It’s stress that forces us to take action. If we feel helpless or unable to cope and become emotionally paralyzed, we might internalize the stress and then implode, as many have done.
As the Psychiatric Ward is simply not a good option, here are some natural (i.e., no meds) tools for de-stressing–and the more you partake of them, the better:
●Taking long, or even short, walks in nature.
●Engaging in raucous and, if possible, randomly induced fits of laughter
●Massage (giving and getting!)
●Caring for a pet.
●Meditating — I’ll share simple meditation techniques in a forthcoming post.
●Self-expression: painting, music, wild dancing, writing, photography, etc.
●Nutritional changes — Less sugar and less booze, which can leads to depression
●Family. It is traditional…and yes, it can be a double-edged sword.
●Helping others — Being of service is an amazing stress buster.
●Having A Spiritual Practice — This one encompasses various other solutions.
Addressing the Stress Beast is a large task, and certainly too vast for just one posting, especially if you throw anxiety, depression and insomnia into the mix. In subsequent posts I will delve into how these disturbances can be addressed through healing modalities such as acupuncture, herbs, hypnosis and meditation.
Oh, and please feel free to comment/mention other de-stressers that I haven’t listed.
D. Reinaldo Bernstein, L. Ac., C.H.