What can we do about Anxiety and Stress?
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
I came across an interesting article the other day about anxiety and stress. Researchers have found no evidence that wild animals experience chronic stress. For example, a deer may be startled by a loud noise and take off through the forest, but as soon as the threat is gone, the deer immediately calms down and starts grazing. It doesn't appear to be tied in knots the way that many people are. They live in Immediate Return Environment, where they only have to worry about acute stressors. Once the threat is gone, their anxiety subsides.
However, today we humans face different problems. Worries such as, will I have enough money to pay the bills next month? Will I get the promotion at work or remain stuck in my current job? Will I repair my broken relationship? These problems are part of the Delayed Return Environment which means that these stressors can rarely be solved right now in the present moment. This is what causes us anxiety and stress. One of the greatest sources of anxiety in a Delayed Return Environment is the constant uncertainty. There is no guarantee that working hard in school will get you a job. There is no promise that investments will go up in the future. There is no assurance that going on a date will land you a soulmate. Living in this type of environment means you are surrounded by uncertainty. So what can you do? The first thing you can do is measure something. You can't know for certain how much money you will have in retirement, but you can remove some uncertainty from the situation by measuring how much you save each month. You can't be sure that you're not going to become seriously ill but you can start by keeping track of how many days a month you workout. You can't predict when you find love, but you can pay attention to how many times you introduce yourself to someone new. The act of measurement takes an unknown quantity and makes it known. When you measure something, you immediately become more certain about the situation. Measurement won't magically solve your problems, but it will clarify the situation, pull you out of the black box of worry and uncertainty, and help you get a grip on what is actually happening. Shift Your Worry
The second thing you can do is "shift your worry" from the long-term problem to a daily routine that will solve that problem.
Instead of worrying about living longer, worry about exercising or taking a walk each day.Instead of worrying about whether your child will get a college scholarship, worry about how much time they spend studying today.Instead of worrying about losing enough weight for the wedding, worry about cooking a healthy dinner tonight.The key insight that makes this strategy work is making sure your daily routine both rewards you right away (immediate return) and resolves your future problems (delayed return).
Last thing you can do, look into our Yoga Series. Not only will you learn breathing tactics designed to ease the mind; but gain an hour to ease your body. Proven fact that by doing yoga at least once a week, can help lower anxiety and decrease your stress level.