As I like to remind you every now and then, all the stuff you read on this blog has been road-tested in some way by me, in my own life, circumstances or experiences with others. I don’t write about any techniques that I don’t use myself and that I haven’t seen some significant success with.
So with intro out the way, I wanted to share a few of the ways I’ve been managing my sky-rocketing stress levels, given that I live 5 minutes from the Old City of Jerusalem, where there’s recently been a huge number of people getting stabbed by Arab terrorists.
You can split the stress reaction into 3 parts: spiritual stress, emotional stress and physical stress, and to deal with it properly, you have to tackle it across all three areas.
How to defuse spiritual stress
You already know what I’m going to suggest, don’t you? Nothing but nothing defuses spiritual stress at its source except regularly talking to God, and putting God in the picture. In practice, that means internalizing that God is behind the stabbing terrorists, and that nothing can happen to me (or my family) unless God decrees it.
On the other side of the coin, that means that if God decrees something, there is no way of running away from it (although teshuva can still work wonders at any given moment). Again practically, that means working on my acceptance that God is running the world, and that He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, to whoever He wants – and it’s good.
If that sounds like a tall order to manage, you’re right. It’s next to impossible to really internalize all these things without regular talking to God sessions. Every time I get hit with heavy-duty stress, I up my personal prayer. Often, I feel immediately better afterwards, but even on the rare occasions I don’t, the stressful situation, or my overwhelmed response to it, seems to change and improve rapidly after talking to God.
How to defuse emotional stress
Again, I’m going to focus on practical suggestions and skip all the deeper background stuff about achieving emotional balance and strengthening the three foundations of emotional health. (If you want more details about those things, take a look at Modules 3-5 of the free Talk to God online course, HERE.)
We need to feel that the world is fundamentally a safe place to be to maintain emotional equilibrium – which can be very difficult when you’re in the middle of a mini-war zone. Here’s what helps me to do that:
Physical stress comes in many ways, shapes and forms, but Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is definitely something we all need to be looking out for. PTSD occurs when you’ve been through chronic or acute stress, and some part of your primitive brain is still ‘replaying’ the stressful circumstances at a subconscious level, making you feel permanently wound-up and depleted.
PTSD symptoms include: memory loss, fuzzy brain, thinking the worse is going to happen, jumping at every little noise, inability to concentrate, difficulties sleeping, nightmares, disturbing flashbacks and disassociation, or ‘spacing out’. (If you live in Jerusalem, I guarantee you have at least 3 things on this list at the moment…)
diagram: strengthen bladder meridian acupressure points
You can find details of how to do the following techniques elsewhere on the website, (especially in the Guide to Strengthening Your Meridians, HERE) but this is what’s been helping me defuse my physical stress: