Experiencing high levels of stress can make you age prematurely.
You probably know at least a few individuals who have experienced what they imagine to be highly stressful events – maybe a divorce, the loss of a loved one, a reduction in income, debt or the discovery of a serious health issue – that has accelerated their ageing processes quite rapidly.
“I remember a young man who found out that his mother had metastatic cancer. Within a few weeks he began growing a patch of white hair. It was quite amazing how quickly he went grey. I watched a 20-year-old girl find out she was pregnant, without knowing who the father was, and saw how she felt the pressure of the social and financial implications.”
There are a few sensible actions you can take to cope.
Coping with stress
So what can you do if you find yourself experiencing circumstances that feel emotionally distressing?
- Having a close friend or a professional to communicate with would be ideal.
- Meditation and stilling your mind to enable your inner solutions to arise can also assist. Exercising to channel off some extra tension will maybe assist temporarily.
- Making sure you eat quality, nutritious food during such times is certainly wise.
Also, ask yourself how your perceived stressful situation could serve or benefit you now and in the future?
To perceive only the negative side of the emotional equation and not even attempt to search for the accompanying positive side can further exacerbate the stress and keep you forever bound to the source of your stress.
Balance your perceptions
Balancing the equation can help dissolve this concentrated stress.
A balanced mind – seeing both the positive and negative side of things – offers the solution.
Ask yourself what the drawbacks would be if this emotionally stressful event had not occurred?
Sometimes we assume that our life would have been much better if things would have turned out differently.
Sometimes people compare their present realities to falsely optimistic fantasies.
“Having unrealistic expectations about the world or yourself can add to your stress perceptions when life doesn’t match your ideal fantasy. Be sure your life expectations are balanced and realistic. Life offers a balance. One-sided events don’t occur.”
Since many stressful situations involve personal interactions with others, it’s wise to ask where and when you have participated in such an interaction with someone else who perceived you as being the source of their stress.
This question can humble you and make you think twice about unwisely judging others, since a lot of stress involves exaggerated judgments about others. Self-reflection is wise and honest introspection often reveals humbling histories. When you become reflective your expectations often become more realistic.
If someone is criticising or rejecting you, ask yourself where someone is simultaneously praising or accepting you, although maybe not within the same location.
This takes deep introspection, but it is worth it.
A great discovery is revealed when you take the time to honestly probe the initially unseen world that balances every event.
Dr. John Demartini is a human behaviour specialist, educator, author and the founder of the Demartini Institute.
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