Stress – A Good Thing or …Not?

Helping troubled teens and young adults deal with stress by Ken Rabow

What? Stress? A good thing?
I’m here to tell you… Stress is good!
It’s what you don’t do with it, that makes it bad.

As a very dear friend of mine often says:
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”

It’s easy to say, “well, they don’t know My stress”!
Whatever stress you are going through can be true major stress but how you go through it and whether it gives you any equivalent benefit, depends on what coping mechanisms you have been taught. But, of course, your were taught to deal with stress in school, weren’t you? 🙁

There is so much that I would love for people to be taught in school. How to deal with stress is a really big one. Here is some stripped down versions of things I teach my clients in our classes. It can also be found in my book “The Slacker’s Guide To Success”.

There are two secrets to dealing with stress.

Breathing and 2. Mindfulness.

Let’s start with breathing.
Next time you’re walking down a busy street, look at people’s heart/lung meridians. It’s the area between the shoulders (in front) above the nipples and below the neck.

When someone is really stressed you can see it as they walk down the street. They breathe shallowly. Which means all of their breath is happening in that heart/lung meridian area.

This is called distressed breath and it alerts your system to kick into fight or flight mode. Your adrenaline will increase. Your nostrils may flare. And “being chill” is not an option at this point.

Now, if you are in a quiet place, lie down, put your right hand just below your belly button and your left hand on your heart/lung meridian. Try taking a few deep breaths into your right hand (below your belly) without having your left hand (H/L Meridian) move.

This is deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing and gives your body the all-clear from danger. Allowing your system to begin to relax and work more efficiently.

2. Mindfulness. 
As you find yourself becoming stressed, notice where the stress is in your body. Be aware of your breath. Pay attention to the words you use to yourself.
Now choose to relax the breath. Try to relax the stress points and finally use words that are meaningful to yourself in calming yourself down. Getting this to work takes a Mentor but you can do a great deal of it on your own.

So how can stress be a great thing. It is a motivator to action. it is a power within ourselves to push beyond our comfort zone. Once you can control this power, with breath and mindfulness, it will become an ally in many situations: public speaking; pushing beyond what is comfortable in projects; and so much more.

How weird is it that the thing that seems to be our greatest foe holds the seeds to our greatest powers?

Author: Ken_Rabow

Ken Rabow is the Mentor's Mentor for Troubled Teens, Young Adults and their Families