Jan 14, 2021 | AM blogs

Our Modern Day Pandemic and a genuine threat to our well-being?

By Bahar Alexander

While everyone is still worried about the COVID-19 pandemic and what the aftermath impact of it will be, there is another pandemic that is going completely unnoticed. This pandemic has slowly gained power over the last few years. It is a significant threat to our well-being, level of optimal life experience, and ability to create success. What pandemic is it, you ask?

“The stress pandemic.”

Stress-induced conditions destroy more lives than we like to believe. It limits effective leadership, participation in society, performance, and a sense of happiness. Stress weakens the precious immune system, which we need to fend off diseases and regenerate for longevity. As much as most coaches like to advocate reducing stress to manage this pandemic, many experts in neuroscience and I agree that it is not that we have too much stress, but the degradation of emotional Resilience, which is the cause of our stress response.
The problem with our Stress pandemic is that it is no longer only caused by real-life threats. We get “stressed out” by the people who disagree with us, question us, or unfairly treat us. Today getting a phone call that disrupts our moment of peace is the equivalent of being chased by a wild animal and getting schooled by our partner, the equivalent of being run over by a fast-moving car.

What do we need to discern between real threats and perceived ones effectively? “MENTAL TOUGHNESS,” “EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE,” also known as EQ.

You will notice that I use the terms stress and challenges interchangeably. We sense friction within us by facing a challenge. The stress-response a side effect of the challenge encountered, so they are synonymous with one another in relation to Emotional Resilience.
Emotional Resilience provides us with the ability to respond to threats/challenges methodically and effectively. Through emotional and mental recalibration, we learn to override the initial emotional response by neutralizing its meaning even when faced with clear and present danger. Doing so, we increase our Critical Creative thinking capacity and move from feeling helpless to feeling empowered through creative problem-solving capacity
How we respond to sensory information from our perception, sensation & imagination defines our ability or inability to respond appropriately to stress. We can choose what meaning we give to a particular situation.

After a car accident that initially paralyzed me for six months on the left side of my body and severely damaged my left leg, I was told I would never be able to live a normal life again. Talk about Stress. While this could cause one human to resign to the fate decided upon by the specialists, I decided that nothing was going to stop me from living a full life and that my injury would not predict my life experience. WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE how we feel and think about our obstacles, stressors, and challenges.

We Humans are designed to deal with stress. Our autonomic nervous system receives information from our environment and responds to it … not always appropriately
The stress response is a highly effective mechanism from the body in response to challenging situations. It creates movement mentally and physically. You can see this effect on a cellular level in a body responding to stress. All blood flow is diverted from the internal body to the brain and the limbs. This intelligent programming enables us to come up with creative solutions and get ourselves to safety. When we learn how to increase our emotional Resilience, we gain the power to use this redirected energy effectively. We also learn through EQ strengthening practices to neutralize unsubstantiated stress responses. By doing so, we reduce the amount of low-grade chronic stress in our bodies, responsible for our immune system’s degradation and a real threat to our vitality.
Challenges are meant to strengthen us in both physical and mental performance. You see this demonstrated in the process of building muscle strength. By gradually increasing the muscle tension and overcoming it, the muscle becomes increasingly stronger. This plasticity of the muscle fiber is also a function of our brain cells known as Neuro-plasticity.

“Mental muscle can only gain strength by learning to OVERCOME inevitable Challenges.”

Watch the YouTube video related to this Topic: Our modern day Pandemic 2nd Video: “Stress” /How to reduce low grade chronic stress with these tools – YouTube

Whether you are a leader or a community member, a man or a woman, you are bound to experience stress, and our ability to deal with it will ultimately rely on a few capacities:

  1. Ability to zoom in and out without high emotions: critical, creative thinking (Necessary for problem-solving)
  2. Understanding our emotions and their relation to our responses
  3. Recognizing our subconscious patterns which automatically impact our emotions
  4. Practical communication skills: listening and conveying
  5. Breathing exercises for your type of emotional stress response (high arousal such as anger and rage or passive arousals such as sadness, helplessness, and distraction)
  6. Managing our energy by creating a healthy lifestyle.
    Focus on nutrition, exercise, meditation, and eliminating unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, and consuming excessive sugar, coffee, and other stimulants.
  7. Sleep management through multidisciplinary techniques

It is only by taking personal responsibility for our life experiences that we become EMPOWERED, grow our sense of autonomy, self-esteem, and ultimately perform at the height of our ability.

Let us empower ourselves with the superhero capacity: EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE, which will enable us to deal with life stressors and THRIVE no matter the circumstances.

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