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Controlling Stress

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by dcl1597, May 2, 2016.

  1. dcl1597

    dcl1597 New Member

    Hello all,
    It's been a while since I've posted here, but I am in need of some help. During my TMS journaling, more often than not I've found that the things that seem to be the biggest "stressors" for me are just personality traits and current stresses, and have less to do with my past. My symptoms (IBS related) clearly seem to pop up during times of stress. Right now I am in the middle of exams week, and my symptoms are absolutely terrible. Despite journaling every day, take time for myself to decompress, getting lots of sleep, and generally not feeling stressed, my stomach still seems to be responding. I've even tried thanking the condition, for reminding me to take care of myself, but nothing seems to be working. I was wondering if anyone had an experience like this where despite their best efforts to relieve the stress, their body continued to react? And if so what can be done about it?
    I'm really struggling here and the condition is actually making me stressed where I wasn't before so I could really use some help! Thanks y'all, and have a good day!
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your body is likely reacting to something unconscious that is bothering you. This happens to me frequently with insomnia. I can't find the trigger by examining my conscious thoughts or current experiences. It is something very deep that has not made its way to my understanding yet. So I'm working on acceptance and letting go of the need to control it. Let it be. Tell yourself you'll be fine in spite of having stomach symptoms. Relax and let go. That may be all you need.
  3. dcl1597

    dcl1597 New Member

    Ellen- I'm so thrilled that you respond as I had literally just finished reading your success story and was so inspired! I'm definitely a bit of a control freak, so not being able to control my body's reactions and that feeling of it being out of my hands definitely gets to me. I know I have a lot of work to put in, and a great deal of it is unlearning unhealthy thought patterns. Thank you so much for your words of advice and encouragement.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, dc. Ellen's success story really is inspiring. And her reply to you is, too... "Relax and let go." I do that, when pains or anxieties return, by laughing. I just laugh it all off. Nothing is fatal except death, and even though I'm 85, I myself being more at peace with it. I just think, no more bills or technology like computers that often give me headaches, and laugh at it all. Most of what troubles us, we can't do anything about, so I just let it go.

    As for relaxing, I like meditation.

    Meditation is a time-honored way of relaxing the mind and relieving anxiety, mental stress, headaches, and even physical pain. There are many ways to practice meditation but I have found the most successful to be a technique called the Relaxation Response.

    A friend who is a psychiatrist says about it: “It is so good, so well established. I taught this approach to stressed out teachers, with success! It is simple, not "spiritual," and readily available. This is important: It is the practice, and becoming a habit that is powerful.”

    It is done 20 minutes once or twice a day, before a meal and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal.

    Just sit, close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    Follow the technique below and see how fast you calm. It is similar to Transcendental Meditation but unlike that technique which many consider to be a religion or cult, and that costs $1,000 from a trained TM coach. The Relaxation Response is not a religion or cult and costs nothing.

    If 20 minutes is too long to start with, try 5 minutes, then 10 and 15.

    Here is an article about the Relaxation Response and more about how to practice it:

    Herbert Benson, M.D. documented benefits experienced through traditional forms of Christian and Jewish prayer. Benson published his Relaxation Response” method of stress reduction without the mysticism associated with TM. Short structured rest periods provide health benefits.
    Herbert Benson, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Harvard Medical School
    and founder of the

    Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
    824 Boylston St.
    Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-2508

    Phone: (617) 991-0102 Toll free: (866) 509-0732

    The following is the technique reprinted with permission from Dr. Herbert Benson's book
    The Relaxation Response pages 162-163

    1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
    2. Close your eyes.
    3. Deeply relax all your muscles,
    beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.
    Keep them relaxed.

    4. Breathe through your nose.
    Become aware of your breathing.
    As you breathe out, say the word, "one"*,
    silently to yourself. For example,
    breathe in ... out, "one",- in .. out, "one", etc.
    Breathe easily and naturally.

    5. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
    You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.
    When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes,
    at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened.
    Do not stand up for a few minutes.

    6. Do not worry about whether you are successful
    in achieving a deep level of relaxation.
    Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.
    When distracting thoughts occur,
    try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them
    and return to repeating "one."

    With practice, the response should come with little effort.
    Practice the technique once or twice daily,
    but not within two hours after any meal,

    since the digestive processes seem to interfere with
    the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.
  5. dcl1597

    dcl1597 New Member

    Thank you so much Walt, I look forward to trying this out! Hopefully tonight. Maybe I will make a post to talk about how it works for me in a little bit! Keep me accountable, and working on it.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, dc. It would be good to know how the Relaxation Response works for you. But keep in mind, it's supposed to work best when repeated over time.
    I do feel a relaxation even after 5 or 10 minutes.
  7. Sean

    Sean New Member

    Hi dc,
    It seems like we have to battle past a threshold...once u get past it your mind set is a 'pain diminished' mind set...the new status quo is no pain...u make a good point about personality traits...we are who we are and it's hard to change our person hood...we can, as the program suggests, change our behaviors more readily...I particular our behaviors aimed at pain management...hang in there and good luck with exams

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