STRESS MANAGEMENT ONLINE
ONLINE MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS MANAGEMENT VIA SKYPE
Mindfulness Therapy provides one of the most effective trainings available for managing stress more effectively by teaching you how to overcome the habitual emotional reactions and reactive thinking that causes chronic stress.
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Emotional stress is something that we all experience when we have to cope with the many demands and responsibilities of home and work. Stress can be defined as an intense emotional and physiological reaction to a situation or the mental representation of a situation as a memory or anticipation.
Chronic stress is produced when stress reactions do not resolve themselves and become habitual. The sustained physiological effects of chronic stress can have a serious effect on the body and lead to an increased risk of disease.
The psychological effects of chronic stress produce fatigue, poor concentration and an impaired ability to perform tasks, which leads to more stress. Stress produces a general feeling of helplessness and negativity, both of which reinforce the stress reactions. We feel a lack of vitality, enthusiasm and creativity. Many people describe chronic stress as a heavy blackness that covers everything.
Chronic stress can result in an increased chance of accidents as well as reducing work performance. Chronic stress also reduces our listening and learning skills and this reduces the quality of communication in our personal relationships and family. Chronic stress is a problem that greatly impacts those around us as well as reducing the quality of our own life.
Other specific areas for stress management:
It is well recognized that stress reactions are learned and originate from the influence of our own mental outlook and from belief patterns acquired from our parents, family and culture. Stress always contains both an objective component and a subjective component and in most situations it is the habitual subjective emotional reactivity that generates the emotional tension and physiological changes of stress. There is pain and there is suffering. Pain is the objective component that is often inevitable or unavoidable, but suffering is a subjective reaction that we generate and add to the pain. The Buddha described this subjective suffering as dukkha and not surprisingly, mindfulness, which is one of the main teachings of the Buddha, was and continues to be very relevant for working with and resolving emotional stress.
WORKING WITH STRESS REACTIONS
All habitual emotional reactions rely on two elements – ignorance and emotional energy. The first task in MMT is called RECOGNITION, in which we learn to recognize our stress reactions as they arise in stressful situations. This counteracts the automatic and mechanical part of what makes a reaction habitual. The maxim of MMT is that all change begins with mindfulness and awareness is the first and most important step. However, what keeps a reaction alive is the associated emotional charge without which the reaction would have no power to cause stress. MMT teaches us how to form a non-reactive relationship, the Mindfulness Based Relationship, with this underlying emotional energy that compels us to react.
The mindfulness relationship is very important. This is where we allow ourselves to open our awareness and investigate the emotional energy, which is quite different to our usual reaction of ignorance, avoidance or aversion.
Mindfulness creates a therapeutic space that allows the emotion to unfold and undergo transformation. If you give it space it will change. This is one of the great discoveries made by the Buddha, 2500 years ago and which we are rediscovering today. It is not what we do that matters as much as how we relate to our emotional stress. When this relationship is based on the receptivity and openness of mindfulness, then we create the best possible conditions in which the emotional tension can resolve itself. Without this emotional power, there is nothing to sustain the reaction and life-long patterns of stress producing reactivity begin to dissolve, leaving you free from their compulsive grip. Like the petals of a lotus bud that were previously held and constrained so tightly, the mind begins to explore a new freedom with all its possibilities and choices. This is the freedom that the Buddha talked about and that is possible for all of us to discover through the practice of mindfulness. MMT teaches you how to apply mindfulness to resolve your patterns of habitual reactivity so that you can realize your full potential and enjoy your life and relationships to the full.
Managing your stress? Mindfulness works incredibly well
I’m feeling stressed out!
You’re not alone.
Unhealthy stress is a real problem in the United States. According to the American Institute of Stress and the American Psychological Association, 77% of people experience physical symptoms caused by stress. 74% experience psychological symptoms.
Stress also costs businesses—$300 million in health-related expenses in 2016.
But most importantly, unhealthy stress steals away our enjoyment of life. Family, friends and hobbies can all be affected by unchecked stress levels. And you deserve to enjoy your life.
But, there’s good news. Stress is manageable.
Even better news? You can learn a simple and effective skill to manage your stress: Mindfulness.
You’ve already got it inside of you.
Chances are, you’ve heard about mindfulness before. Magazines, apps, podcasts, social media, in the news—mindfulness is everywhere. And that’s for good reason. Mindfulness is a very effective tool for improving the quality of your life.
As a stress management tool, it’s backed by both scientific research and independent practice. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), pioneered by Dr. John Kabat-Zinn, has over 40 years of clinical use.
But let’s take look at how mindfulness can help you manage your stress.
Take a deep breath.
Stress is normal. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can be positive and negative. It’s also one of the most searched medical symptoms on the internet.
A 2017 study of stress in the United States found that, while the reasons for stress vary from state to state, levels are consistent throughout the country. Nearly half of the study participants reported being unable to sleep as a result of their stress levels. They worried about a wide range of societal challenges—from the economy and healthcare to the government and the future of the nation.
All this said, what is stress?
Stress is a physiological and/or psychological response to your experiences. From first dates to natural disasters, stress is a part of the human experience. When you have an experience that your body/mind registers as “stressful,” your brain releases chemical hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
These hormones get you moving—the famous “fight or flight” response.
Sometimes stress can help us achieve our goals. Pushing us to work a little harder and stay a little more focused. But the operative word here is “little.” When we put too much strain on our bodies, when we’re stuck in those “fight or flight” situations for too long, there are consequences.
Maybe you’re already dealing with some of them:
- Physical pain/muscle tension
- Difficulty sleeping
- Over/under eating
- Short temper
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Chest pains and rapid heart beat
When your stress reactions happen more frequently and issues that you used to be able to manage begin to feel too big to handle…it’s time to get help.
The online mindfulness therapy model is an effective and safe way to manage stress. All from the place you feel most comfortable…with internet access.
Mindfulness is about tuning in and being present to your experiences—being aware of your emotions, thoughts and body. Rather than getting stuck in the habit of reacting, you learn to take a moment and respond in a way that minimizes harm to yourself and others.
Mindfulness happens all the time. You know that feeling—it’s when your whole being is engaged and relaxed. What athletes sometimes call being in the ‘zone’. It’s a natural part of being human.
By training in mindfulness, you can take a natural state and turn it into a functional skill. A skill that you can use when stress shows up.
“I love it when your so stressed out,” said nobody.
Being in tune with stress, seeing when it benefits you and when it doesn’t, puts the power back in your hands.
Rather than shutting down, you learn to gently unpack your reactions—changing your relationship with stress-triggers in your life. So, the next time you’re stuck in traffic or dealing with a surprise expense, you can take a moment, check-in with your emotions, thoughts and body…then respond.
You gain the power to choose where you spend your energy.
But, like all tools for wellbeing, they only work when you use them. Applying mindfulness to your stress takes practice, but the results could change your life.
Remember the good news? Stress is manageable.
Developing and using mindfulness to help you manage your stress works. Once you learn how to use it, it’s yours for the rest of your life.
My online mindfulness therapy practice combines the insights of modern psychotherapy and ancient mindfulness meditation techniques to help you transform your experience.
You can start right now:
- Recognize that your stress has become unreasonable.
- Start changing your language—“I’m stressed” to “I’m noticing stress.”
- Create a new relationship with your stress. Be as present for yourself as you are for your friends.
- Take a deep breath and let your stress go.
But, you don’t have to take this journey alone. If you’re feeling like your stress has become a problem, get in touch. I offer online mindfulness-based stress management and online mindfulness therapy via Skype.
Let’s help you back to enjoying your life.
Peter Strong, PhD is a Professional Psychotherapist and specialist in Mindfulness Therapy. He offers Online Therapy via Skype for Anxiety, Depression & Emotional Stress.
Email Inquiries Welcome.
You can learn more about Mindfulness Therapy by reading his book, ‘The Path of Mindfulness Meditation’ (Amazon.com).
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Online
- Online Mindfulness Therapy for Stress
- Mindfulness Therapy for Chronic Pain Management via Skype
Read my answers to questions posted on Quora about Online Mindfulness therapy for overcoming emotional stress: