Lying on your back, place your left hand lightly across your chest, feeling
your chest expand and contract.|
|Now begin to vibrate your larynx, and move the voice up and down until you can feel the vibration in your chest.|
Really fill your lungs.
Stress is the primary factor in
aging and illness. We are not a body carrying around a mind but a
body-mind. Unless you are a very extraordinary person you are experiencing
some stress, either at home or at work.
Stress is a message that you are in an intolerable
situation. You cannot survive the high blood pressure, heart and
metabolism rate, and the panic you are feeling.
Stress and tension are very closely linked. Tension is the opposite of
relaxation. It's the difference between a clenched fist and a limp wrist.
If we go to the extreme of tension, that's called rigor mortis, 'the rigor
of death,' where everything tightens up.
The opposite extreme, the ultimate relaxation possible, would leave you
without any control of your body functions. Obviously, we want to maintain
a balance between these two extremes. All life takes place between the
extremes of stiffness on one side and flaccidness on the other. For good
health, physical as well as mental and emotional, we want to be moving
around flexibly somewhere in the middle, enjoying a rigorous moment of
stress and then relaxing and recovering.
The most important thing you can do to reduce stress at any time, no matter
where you happen to be, is to remember to breathe.
Part of what happens when we live in stress is we forget to breathe, and
that increases the body's panic reaction-you are not getting enough oxygen
around to all your organs, especially the brain.
People can get addicted to stress. The adrenal glands actually release
chemical stress hormones during moments of peak stress, that cause the
addiction. Like any addiction, the more you resort to it, the more
dependent you become and the more you need it. Some people love the "rush"
they feel when their body sends out stress hormones into their bloodstream
and into their brain, which is the body's "fight or flight" response to
In time, the body becomes accustomed to a certain level of danger, and
doesn't release stress hormones. You can see how this can escalate into a
If you're thinking, "I'm not a stress addict, and I don't seek out danger."
In fact, maybe you even feel scared just driving to work. So none of that
applies to me-right? No! You can be affected by that problem when you
encounter it in another driver. You're going to come bumper to bumper with
another driver who is anywhere on a scale from rude, on up to a
stress-junkie, all the way up to just plain wacko! How are you going to
respond to that? That is the ultimate decision for you. That moment could
be one of the most important moments in your life.
The group that contains the largest number of aggressive drivers is
18-to-28 year olds. They have 26% of all accidents, but 36% of all
accidents involving aggressive driving. One thing about being that age, is
you think you are going to live forever-you feel indestructible.
Even if you're no longer 28 years old, it's good to remind yourself when you
get into a car what a potentially dangerous animal that is that you're
riding. It's 2,000 pounds of metal with plenty of blade-like edges, and
your body is something like the consistency of a slightly under-ripe
cantaloupe. So you've got a potentially lethal weapon at your fingertips.
And-the faster it's travelling, that flying metal, the more lethal the
Before starting your car run through a mental checklist, a little like the
walk-around a professional pilot must do before he starts his engines-check
the mirrors, put on your seatbelt, check visibility all around, and
remember the ominous responsibility you're about to take on. The
responsibility for a human life you love-your own.
I always tell clients not to rush, because I don't want them to be
stressed-out by the traffic and then be unable to apply themselves. I'd
rather have them arrive five minutes late and be comfortable and secure,
without any extra feeling that 'I'm inadequate because I'm late.' This
syndrome is often inculcated by employers to no good effect. You know why
they do it. It's sort of the same idea that if you executed people for
littering, you'd only have to execute one person, and people would stop
littering. Or perhaps they wouldn't.
It's better to give yourself five extra minutes by leaving early, so that
you don't have to make the 13th light in order to get to the job on time.
If you're five minutes late and all the boss does is glare at you then you
can always be five minutes late, depending on how ambitious you are in your
Ambition and reckless driving go together. We say somebody is 'driven' to
succeed, and it's the same person who cuts you off to get to the red light
in front of you.
Every day change your daily walk route (at least 20 min.)
Every week change your driving routes*
Every month change your habitual favorite foods
Every year change and renew your goals and dreams
Leave ALL thoughts of work AT work, especially during drive time