Saturday, June 29, 2013

Soul Sustenance: Stress Relief

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book 5 Minutes to Stress Relief as a thank-you for this post.

I recently had the chance to interview Lauren E. Miller who wrote a very helpful blog on how we can have a significant impact on our stress levels with just a few minutes at a time. I enjoyed reading the book and loved the variety of tips presented. You can read my full review here. You can also enjoy what she has to say in the interview:

1.     What impact does stress have on our relationships and our health?
When you’re stressed out you are mucking around in the primal brain, which activates the fight, flight, and freeze mode. When this happens you severely compromise your ability to access quick solution based thinking, attention and flexibility located in the mid to back part of the brain. Relationships require flexibility and attention. If you are stressed out and worried about different aspects of your life then the spontaneous expressions of love and playfulness, which create levity and joy in relationships, is severely compromised. In terms of the impact of stress on our health, a 20-year landmark study out of the University of London discovered that unmanaged reactions to stress were more of a contributing factor to heart disease and cancer than cigarette smoking and high cholesterol foods. Let's face it; worry, fear and doubt wreak havoc on our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. I know this first hand as I was diagnosed with advanced cancer one week prior to my final divorce court date.
2.     What are some common sources of stress that we can avoid?
Stress is very unique to each individual. Each of us carries around our own stress triggers: those circumstances and responses from life that create a negative emotional flare-up. Stress has three main fuels: fear, worry and doubt.
·      Fear around what will people think? How is this going to turn out? Will I be able to handle this? Am I enough? Capable? Worthy? Each of these wonderings gives the serpent of fear permission to have it’s way within our thought life and the result is anxiety, trepidation and shrinking back from our God given ability to feel the fear and go for it anyway. 
·      The serpent of worry keeps us up at night fueling us with an unhealthy wondering: “I need to know how this will turn out in order to feel safe and confidant.”
·      Doubt has to do with your belief around your worth and value in this world.  The less self-worth or belief in your God given gifts, talents and abilities the more vulnerable you become to the serpent of doubt, strangling the confidence right out of you.
Awareness and flexibility are key ingredients for more peace in life. Rather than trying to avoid the triggers, become aware of them, look them straight in the eye and say, “I see you for what you are and I choose to resurrect my God given natural state of being: peace and confidence, easily and consistently.” 
3.  How can 5 minutes really help in terms of stress relief? 
It has to if it’s going to work in a high demand life. Let's face it, when you are stressed out the last thing you want to do is sit down and study stress management. When you’re worried, fearful or doubting, you need something quick that works. If you can’t apply a stress relief tip or technique under 5 minutes you will probably lean into familiar reactive behavior. When you implement a technique that instantly addresses the biology and belief behind your stressed out reaction in the midst of a highly emotionally charged situation, you have the ability to shift back to solution based thinking on the spot and back to a place of flexibility and confidence: “oh that’s right, I’ve been stressed like that before and moved through it successfully so I am willing to believe I can do it again.”

4.     Did you already have stress relief tools that helped you deal with your stressful situation: going through advanced cancer and divorce at the same time? 
Yes. I had been studying stress relief, anxiety management along with mind, body, soul inner balance for 18 years prior to the cancer diagnosis and divorce that occurred in 2006. I looked at going through 2 of life’s top stressors at the same time as my PhD training in suffering (emotionally, physically and spiritually) which gave me the opportunity to practice what I had been teaching and learning about the majority of my life. The greatest teachers in this world are those who are consistent students, who teach not from the high palaces of the world but from down in the trenches. I believe God gave me the grace to move through this experience so that I can connect to the hearts of humanity through my own vulnerability thereby opening the doors to an authentic transfer of skills, techniques and tips for inner faith, motivation, confidence, peace and solution based thinking. I am never left empty handed of good material from my own journey to share with the world. I will often say this prayer of gratitude, “Thank you God for never leaving me empty handed when it comes to having valuable material from my own journey that can lighten up, inspire and empower the lives of those people you have entrusted to my care.” No need to shrink back from the experience of vulnerability in life for it creates instant heart to heart connection and respect.

Want More from the Author? Check Out Lauren E Making Life Style Stress Solutions Easy for You.

Lauren E Miller is a world renowned stress relief expert, award winning international bestselling author/speaker and founder of Stress Solutions receiving national recognition in Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle, CNBC, MSNBC, Lifetime and Discovery along with the International Journal of Healing and Care. With 18 years of intensive extended education in the areas of anxiety relief and stress reduction, Lauren equips men and women worldwide with the skill-sets to step into personal excellence and inner peace. Lauren is a certified Master NLP Practitioner and holds her Advanced Training Certificate in EFT, two energy psychology modalities that lead to profound inner transformation.  She has conquered two top life stressors at the same time: advanced cancer and divorce. Her 4th best-selling book: 5 Minutes to Stress Relief was released by Career Press/New Page Books Spring 2013.

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