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Go for the Peak Experience!

Not all stress is bad! Experts in the field of stress management often refer to Eustress as “The good stress.” Eustress (the prefix “eu” means pleasant or good, like that found in the words euphoria, even Eurhythmics, etc.) is any kind of experience that we find to be uplifting, euphoric or exhilarating! Renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow called these moments “Peak experiences” and he encouraged us to have many of them. Sadly, under the often perceived “black cloud” of chronic distress, many people never hit their quota in a lifetime! Curiously, it seems initially that your body responds the same way to good stress or bad stress with an increase in heart rate, blood pressure etc. But what good stress has over distress is the release of neuropeptides (e.g. beta-endorphin) that not only make you feel good, its very likely that they help boost the immune system and work to keep your body on an even kneel. Hans Selye, the father of stress management once said, “I cannot and should not be cured of my stress, but merely taught to enjoy it. Some would argue that Hans was learning to place the focus on Eustress! Is it really possible to be too happy these days these days (without pharmaceutics or other ingested help)? Balance is the key!

• Stress Tip for the Day:
What makes you REALLY happy? Happiness is one part attitude, one part mystery and two parts effort to bring things that make you happy happen. Make a list of 10 things that make you want to reach your arms up in the air and say, “it doesn’t get any better than this!” Having a list is good, but it’s just a start. Pick one thing on your list and DO IT!

• Books Worth Noting:
My dentist often recommends book while he checking out my teeth during my office visits. Stan has an extensive library (and good taste too, I might add). One day last year he recommended the book, Collapse, by Jared Diamond (the author of Guns, Germs and Steel). I finally picked the book up a few weeks ago and just finished it yesterday. An amazing foray of how and why civilizations collapse. Coincidently, the latest issues of the National Geographic has a story on the collapse of the civilization known as Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Given our current situation these days with oil, energy and the perfect storm of various factors, a little history helps put things in perspective and even offers insights toward our (potential) future(s). Enjoy.

• Photo of the Day:
Colorado has no shortage of “peak experiences.” In fact, Colorado has 54 mountains over 14,000 feet, making it the state with the highest number of peaks in the lower 48. Standing on the top of any of these peaks is the epitome of eustress! This view was taken from one of these peaks, called Mt. Evans, one of the few mountains where you can drive to the top (wink) and also one of the few mountains in Colorado where there are Mountain Goats wandering about.

• Quote for the Day:
“You are perfect. The only time you are not perfect is when you compare yourself to someone else.” —Rose Pere

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, PhD.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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