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Managing Stress with Healthy Habits

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In today’s show, “Managing Stress with Healthy Habits,” we will learn about ways to reduce the tensions in our daily lives. When we face stress, the key player of the stress management system in our body is the autonomic nervous system, which regulates the heart rate, breathing, vision changes and more.

Is there a way to deal with stress? An effective stress management plan could help us regain control and avoid falling into the stress cycle. The ultimate goal is not to eliminate all the pressures we experience but to live with stress so that we can feel happier and healthier for a more balanced life.

Even though the “fight-or-flight response” is a natural response to events, these stressors may be foreseeable or even take place at predictable times, including navigating rush hour traffic, making presentations at work, taking your kids to school and more. If you can anticipate the stressor, you can either create an action plan or even change the situation. To deal with a stressful situation in a systematic way, it’s helpful to think of the four A’s of stress management, that is: avoid, alter, adapt and accept.

Just like aerobic exercise, a good laugh will induce the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Studies have found that laughter can reduce stress and anxiety. Even a forced smile can help you as well. Learn to be more humorous and give yourself a reason to laugh. It will help you lighten your mood and relax you.

During a 1998 five-day retreat at the Young Dong Center in Korea, our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about how positive thinking uplifts us. “Like attracts like! If you are better, everything better will come to you. That's why people say to you, ‘Think positive.’ It's not because you say, ‘I think positive, I think positive, and I expect positive,’ then the positive things come. It's not. When you are able to think positive, that means you are elevated to the positive level. You are higher already. So the negative cannot touch you, cannot catch up with you. So, that's why you are happy. And once you are in the positive level, you just attract the positive, of course!”
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