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Handling Stress

John Doran


Handling Stress

“No where to run to, baaaaby, no where to hide…” Though I can not recall the name of the song nor the artist, I can hear that familiar refrain as clear as day.

Throughout the many seminars I do on Stress Reduction and Stress Management there is a common theme both in the experience and the handling of stress. People tell me they know they are getting to their stress limit when they feel that things are “out of control”. They feel overwhelmed and things start to close in on them. It is at this point that they feel they have “no where to hide”.

Doctor’s tell us that that experience carries with it all the physiological changes of the “fight or flight” response. Changes occur in our heartbeat, blood flow, breathing, nervous system, and muscles. Our bodies are designed to handle this once in a while, but, when this becomes a prolonged state or the way we live our lives, it takes a serious toll. Such stress is believed to be cause or at least a contributing cause to many of our most deadly diseases.

What people tell me in my seminars and what doctors have learned over the years is: you need a place to “hide”. Meditation is often prescribed to recovering heart patients, people who experience migraines, and people fighting devastating disease. I often bring it up as a wonderful coping tool in my seminars. Frequently the reaction is, “ Gee, that’s great, but I am not interested in nor do I have time to sit for hours, in a dark room, with my legs crossed burning incense and chanting ‘om’!” Here’s a tip. Look at what meditation does and then see if there is a way to accomplish the same state in a fashion that works for you.

My source of knowledge and information – people like you – tells me there are many ways to experience a similar state without learning the lotus position. When you are awake, your body and mind are both active, and both undergo stress. When you are asleep your body gets to rest, but your mind, though not conscious, can still experience stressful thoughts. The meditative state is one in which your body is inactive, but not asleep, and your mind, though conscious, is not entertaining or holding onto stressful thoughts. The “chant” in meditation also called a “mantra” gives your mind something to “play with” that has no stressful connotation and thus creates no stressful thoughts. You find your place to hide!!!

The neat thing that I’ve learned is that this state is achieved by different people in lots of different ways. Prayer and yoga are probably the two most similar to meditation, but there are so many others. Reading, gardening, taking a long walk, being involved in a fun sports activity, playing or listening to music, taking a hot bath by candle light, looking at something of beauty, watching the ocean or a fire - the list is endless.

The question you need to answer to have your place to hide is:

What can I do or experience that disengages my mind at least for a moment, from all those stress inducing thoughts? What can I do or experience where I lose track of time, where I emerge feeling refreshed, where for a few seconds I’m right there in the moment?

Answer that question and you have found your place. The best part is, just knowing that you can “go” there gives you a sense of relief even in the middle of the most stressful situations. You know then that things may seem out of control, but you are not. You have a place to go where the things can not touch you.

John Doran presents seminars and provides business consulting and coaching services. He has received rave reviews for his “facilitator” approach in workshops on stress.

John Doran 12/16/98
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RealtorJohn DoranEqual Housing
REALTOR® / Educator

4 Bow Lane, Unit 203
Bedford, NH 03110
Office / Cell: 603-566-9921