Category: The Nature of Stress

The Bell Curve of Stress

Analogies to Know Series – Learn these analogies and you will know a lot about stress and relaxation Shortly after the turn of the 20th century two Harvard professors developed a bell curve that has remained tremendously important in stress research to this day. Their curve…

Peeling the Stress Onion

Analogies to Know Series Stress seems like such a simple thing when we first start. We know that we are stressed and we know the sources of our stress so we start practicing a relaxation technique. With just a little bit of work we feel stress…

Soaring with Concentration (a.k.a. meditation)

I maintain that it is important to demystify a lot of the ideas around stress-relaxation practices. Scrap away the mystery and we find that we already do many of the essentials of these practices as we go about our daily lives. What we need to do…

We Need to Leave the Planet

The planet is our: – social self – self-image – self-demands The way we leave is not really by rocket ship; that would be way too fast, but through steady (and hard) work of learning to disengage at will. This work feels less like rocket travel…

What is Your Calmer Self-Image? How to Build One

We can pretty easily describe a metaphorical image of what we look like when we are highly stressed. For instance, we may refer to ourselves as a “wild-eyed, wild hair, raging beast” or a “racing tornado just like my mother.” Or we may see ourselves as…

Know Your Relaxation History

Switching from concern about stress let’s look at the other side of the coin, at relaxation. What is your history of relaxation?  What I mean is what has relaxed you?  Do you remember? Do you remember several sources of relaxation for you?  I know, it is…

Tornado in the Doorway

I alert people to what they will experience once they start applying  stress reduction techniques to their most stressful situations. Frequently, things feel worse! How could this be? I thought stress reduction techniques work by cooling things down such as  stress hormones or our emotional brain systems.…

The Three Boxes of Stress Control

I use three boxes to keep myself sane. When I’m alert enough to catch myself in loop of anger, worry, regret, or facing a major change that I don’t know how to handle,  I drop my problem in one of the three boxes. It took a…

The Three Fires of Stress

Stress is like fire. Our attitudes, thinking, feeling, and the sensations in our body, can  feel like a fire out of control.  The analogy gets more solid when we think about what is happening under stress: our fight or flight system gets cooking; our emotions crank…