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Stress and Emotional Regulation

Have you ever noticed that the more stress in a person’s life the more prone they are to strong emotional reactions? I do not mean just amongst those of us who already face challenges with staying emotionally regulated, but any random person in the world.

That is not mere coincidence, there is a direct relationship between the two. Stress takes a large toll on a person, both physically and emotionally. It has been linked to a large number of health problems. It “eats up” valuable and limited resources that the body has to deal with other things.

A lot of our stress maps back to not having control over something. One example is when you need to have something done by a deadline, but you cannot get it done because you are waiting in someone else to contribute something. There is only so much you can do and after you have exhausted all those options, all you can do is wait. Since things are running late and you cannot do anything you get stressed.

Another popular cause of stress is when you are overwhelmed and being pulled in too many directions at once. The more people that want something from you, the more things you have to try to juggle. The more things you have to juggle, the less time you have available to do any of it.

There are volumes of books, papers, seminars and videos that tell you how to combat stress and make your life easier. For me, two of biggest ways to combat stress are, distract myself from what is causing the stress and accept that I am doing everything possible to get the result I want.

Distraction techniques work very well and there are an unlimited number of things you can do to distract yourself. I find getting outside and enjoying nature to be very relaxing, playing various types of video games, photography and getting lost in my thoughts on enjoyable topics to be very helpful.

Some of the thoughts I get lost in are pure fantasy in nature, for example, planning universal conquest and domination. Others are me philosophical and intellectual in nature. An example of these kinds of ideas are multiverses,  infinite dimensions and pondering if time is a “real” dimension or just an abstract concept man created to better understand their surroundings. I also enjoy more practical mental exercises like looking for patterns in numbers or calculating square roots in my head.

One great thing about distraction techniques is that there are plenty of them that are free and do not require anything but yourself. They do not need to make sense to anyone else, they just need to work for you.

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 under Uncategorized.

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