Let’s begin by talking first about what is ‘fight or flight’ response? I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this but on how to fight this response. So we all have an in built system and whenever we have to face an abnormal situation like, coming across a snake on the way, speaking in public or called by the boss this response is triggered, it is called the fight or flight response. Think about it, what triggers this response in you?
This response has been programmed into us by nature to protect us from any bodily harm, it comes from the time when humans lived in caves and hunted wild animals. But in modern times we don’t have to face wild animals but still things like boss, traffic, a deadline or a bouncing check triggers the fight or flight response. Today if our fight or flight response is activated we cannot run away or fight, this causes us to become aggressive and over-reactive, we can’t fight or run away from the boss. So how does this response affect our life?
When there is over-activation of the fight or flight response it causes stress hormones to build up which can lead to headaches, high BP, infections, fatigue, depression and arthritis. So how do we fight the “fight or flight” response. Well, Here are 7 ways you can do that.
1 Changing our environment
I was in a business with a family member as partner, there came a time when the whole work atmosphere became toxic and hostile. The stress was wearing me away, I could not concentrate, I could not come up will ideas, I didn’t feel like doing anything, I kept brooding. And then, I decided to leave, just taking that one step reduced my stress levels drastically. The change in environment gave me new ideas, made me take action and produce better results. But you may ask, “Rajiv, what if we can’t change our environment?” Then what do we do? Relax, that’s my next point.
2 Change your perceptions of reality
This is about changing our attitudes, beliefs and our emotional reaction to the events that happen to us. For example when I left the business, I was talking about, One belief that held me back was, “Rajiv you have no money, you are finished” because people around me would say, ‘to make money, you need to have money’ which I didn’t have that’s when I changed my belief to, “Rajiv you can make money without money” This one belief turned around my life completely.
3 Physical activity
When we exercise we reduce the stress hormones restoring our body and mind to calmer and more relaxed state. You could do 25 pushups, jump rope, do spot jogging, run up and down the stairs till you start sweating. Exercise increases the secretion of endorphins which help us feel better. When we feel good our thoughts are clearer, our positive beliefs are more accessible, our perceptions are more open. When we are stressed we tend to focus on what’s not working, it is difficult to feel or think positive when we are exhausted. Get up do some exercise..
4 Focus on a word or phrase
Focus on a word or phrase that has a positive meaning to you for example the word ‘OM’ ‘love’ ‘peace’ ‘shanti’ The gayatri mantra works for me very well. I keep repeating it over and over again. During any repititive exercise as walking, swimming or running repeat your “focus word” with each step or stroke
5 Practice Yoga
Do yoga asanas and breathing exercises that make you relaxed. Deep breathing exercises help. Simple meditation will also get you into a relaxed state. Just sit comfortably in a chair or on the floow. Close your eyes and then focus on your breath, just let your thoughts come and go choose not to focus on them, slowly those thoughts will melt away and make you calmer. Picture a clear blue sky and see it as your peaceful calm self, then see the dark clouds, stormy clouds as negative states, these clouds will just come and go.
6 Visit a religious place according to your faith
You may visit a temple, church or Mosque. Sit there are feel the powerful vibrations that have a calming effect on you, make you relaxed, make you feel good, make you realize all the blessings that you have. In your prayer thank for everything you have in your life, it will make you happier and more positive. You could also say a prayer like,“Oh God, I can’t handle this problem any more I am now handing it over to you, please help me” and let it go
7 Singing songs
Have a few favourite songs that you automatically sing when you are in stressed times. I remember once when I had lost a job, it should have been my worse day but I found myself going back home by bus sitting in a window seat and happily singing a song that actually lifted up my spirits and I was ready to face any challenges that life would throw at me. Develop the habit of humming your favorite songs whenever you can, believe me it can save your life some day.
What have we learned?
In order to consciously choose the attitudes and beliefs which are most empowering, we must learn to quiet our mind and quiet our body. By relaxation, we can stop the mind chatter, allowing us to move out of our strategic mind into the quiet mind, capable of conscious awareness and attention. The quiet mind opens up our perceptions and frees us to make the most positive choices regarding our lives.
In this sense, the mind is likened to a pond of water. Restless thoughts are like pebbles thrown into the water. They send out a ripple of activity, disturbing the tranquil surface. When the water is constantly agitated with restless thoughts, we cannot see clearly to the bottom of the pond, which represents our inner wisdom. When we stop the restless thoughts, we calm the waters, enabling us to see clearly to the bottom—where our wisest, most enlightened self resides.
I am Rajiv Kumar Luv. My passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of people so that they achieve their personal as well as professional best. I am absolutely committed to specially helping youngsters become leaders in their chosen fields. In the past 28 years, I have trained over 100,000 people from all walks of life. Through my two-day program “Leadership Through Personality Development” I help the youth plan their career, build confidence, make better decisions, manage time and develop their employability skills to meet today’s real-life challenges. You can learn more about me and the work I do by visiting: http://www.thepersonalityboss.com