Silly Beats Stress

    According to WebMD, forty-three percent of adults experience negative health effects from stress, and over seventy-five percent of doctor's office visits are for stress-related problems including headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, skin conditions,  depression, and anxiety.
    Changes in our lives are often stressful, most especially changes that are thrust upon us, leaving us feeling that we have no control.
    At the same time, change is growth and growth is change. Stagnancy is not an option.
    Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson is quoted as saying “He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.”
    We cannot decide every detail of life: there will always be grand systems which have an impact on our experience. The weather; the whims of people in authority; economic realities; the availability of resources we believe we need; even our emotional responses may sometimes feel uncontrollable.
    In truth, humans are profoundly adaptable – we can live in any number of climates and conditions. We can move about the globe and adjust to the local length of day; local language; each societal structure and culture. We can undertake amazing feats and tasks, through choice or necessity.
    Difficulties appear, and we feel stress, when we attempt to resist uncontrollable conditions. Insisting on the 'rightness' of some system, despite evidence otherwise, is a stress-inducing exercise with little hope for a positive outcome.
    'Coping' describes the way that we deal with stress.
The Mind Tools website suggests that the attitude we bring to change is an important indicator of our ability to cope. Seeing  change as a positive force can greatly reduce the stress related to it.
    One of the simplest ways to cope is to find a way to detach from your resistance.
    If you cannot influence the software choices of your workplace, falling into anxiety and upset will not change those software choices: it will only hurt your attitude and maybe even your body. Remaining upset can lead to physical symptoms induced by stress, which will still not influence software choices.
    Once we accept that our internal, emotional and personal environments are the places we can control, we can spend time building positive and enjoyable interludes into our days.
Silly Hats
    Writing in A Fool’s Bargain, Roger Housden suggests that “The pleasure of being foolish lies precisely in the freedom it gives from self-importance and social expectations; the freedom from striving, from the pressure to impress others, to do things the way others do them.”

    Shifting away from seriousness and concern is easy when we are willing to embrace the foolish. Something as simple as watching a comedic movie, or attending a funny show might be enough to break your (resistant) earnestness bubble. If your schedule allows time for laughing yoga, there are many physical benefits to be found in the breathing patterns that laughter will induce.
    Likewise, there is much to be commended in investing an hour and joining me later this month, for Making a Silly Hat.
    Once made, your Silly Hat can be kept on hand to break the stress of any problem. You can put it on – or just imagine putting it on -- while you read the new software manual. Your stress will be disrupted, and you can, perhaps, sigh and endure.
    You will adapt, that's what people do, and a stomach ulcer brings no benefit.
    I have  been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
    For a consultation or other session, in person or by Skype click here
    Join me and make a silly hat at Studio Les Arterres on 26 November 2016. Registration not required