Stress, unless it’s from an immediate trauma such as an accident, injury or explosion is cumulative. That means it builds over time. It’s what makes small things seem big and what makes twenty little annoyances make you feel like going ballistic!
A lot of time we recognize the big stressors. My friend was killed or injured in service and I am upset. We get that. But a lot of times the little things add up and so does the day- to- day service in the field. When you are cold on the mountainside of Afghanistan or boiling in the desert in Iraq and you miss your family and friend. You long for McDonald’s fries and you feel fear everyday for yourself and your fellow service members- that adds up. When we come home, we are faced with a whole bunch more stressors that in our heads seem like dumb stuff, but then they some how trigger all the other stuff simmering below the surface of our brains or buried deep inside. That’s why we blow up over a scratched DVD or being cut off in traffic.
The first step is to recognize that these outside stressors build up. When we are feeling “stress vulnerable” we need to remove as much of the outside stress as we can. This might mean hiring a babysitter to get a break from the kids, hiring the kid next door to mow your lawn when it feels too much or just taking a long, hot shower and letting everyone go away for 20 minutes. The world won’t fall apart because you step out of it for a few minutes. This is called decompression time. Secure your kids, your property and your obligations and take that break. Putting into perspective what you can and cannot control is a huge part of managing the outside stress. Once you realize you can’t control it, put it in a box, set it on a shelf and let it go.
HH4Heroes Stress-Buster #9
Laughter, like love, is the best medicine. Having the ability to laugh when life is not laughable is part of being resilient. Laughter also releases natural “feel-good” chemicals in our brains that ease our emotional distress. When we laugh, we cannot cry. So, consider watching a funny movie, comedy show on TV, listening to your favorite comedian’s routine on iTunes or retelling funny stories/experiences to lift your spirits. This is a simple tool to help put a smile on your face.
In the final installment of our stress series we are going to work on reducing our stress load from the inside. If you have missed any in our series, please check back to our earlier posts.
Remember…happiness is an inside job!
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Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate our service men and women along with their families as well as support our troops. To contact Lisa, email her directly at email@example.com and check out her websites at www.harvestinghappiness.com , www.hh4heroes.org & www.harvestinghappinesstalkradio.com.
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio with Lisa Cypers Kamen brings a fresh approach to the airwaves promoting happiness, well-being and global human flourishing by presenting a diverse and proactive collection of the greatest thinkers and doers who have devoted their lives to creating a better world in which to live.
She is an expert in creating happiness, finding pathways to happiness, and building a happiness formula in her Harvesting Happiness workshops. Cultivate a happier life by tuning in weekly click here .Wednesdays at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST. or download her free podcasts by clicking here.
Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a pending 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma, PTSD and post-deployment reintegration issues. HH4Heroes offers Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.
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