Dealing with Stress
The meaning of the physiological experience is, of course, a Meta-State; and, like any Meta-State, it can be Meta-Modelled – broken down to provide understanding of the experience – and often a new positive Meta-State created. (Oh, that shot of adrenaline is going to give me the alertness to solve my problem!)
It’s impossible not to be in a state of physiological stress if you have a genuine stressor impacting upon you. However, the way you Meta-State will impact significantly upon your ability to cope. (More about this later in the chapter.)
Firstly, when we become seriously troubled, we get stressed. Most people don’t know how to deal with the stress experience itself.
Stress, as we discussed briefly in Chapter 3, is a physiological reaction. All too often, the actual physiological reaction itself becomes part of the problem. Already suffering huge cognitive dissonance, people tend to assume they are ‘breaking down’ or ‘going mad’ because of the intense physical sensations they are experiencing.
As I’ve said before, to Meta-Model, you need a Meta-Modeller. Seek help sooner, rather than risk sliding into the Gamma Trap we discussed in Chapter 9.
As a short-term fix, do some physical actions. Your BEIGE has got you ready to fight or flee – so do some action to accommodate it. Burn up the excess energy you have been provided with!
At times of great stress in the past, I’ve found that energetic bouts of shadow boxing have enabled me to regain enough mental and emotional equilibrium to approach my problem(s) from a calmer state of mind.
These days a thorough workout at the gym often helps ease the day-to-day stress of working life.
It also helps if you can develop strategies that distract you from ruminating over the problem and continuing to feed your alarm.
Psychologists such as Diane Tice and Richard Wenzlaf have found that the most effective mood-changing strategies are those which most involve the physical senses. In addition to almost any form of exercise, deep breathing, going for a drive or playing a fast-moving video game are all recommended.