Inauguration Countdown Day 13 — Hot Stress Relief

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Stress kills. If we could bottle up all the stress that erupted on 11/9/16 with the announcement about Trump’s electoral vote win, we’d need such massive vats to hold it that we’d be in manufacturing for years to come.


Consider this hypothetical question: Is it possible our nation (and the world) might be safer because Trump won?


When a narcissist is thwarted, all hell breaks loose. If that narcissist operates in a controlled arena such as his job at a factory, he might do some act of sabotage or vandalism or blow off steam in a pub brawl, then go home and abuse his wife and children. But when that narcissist occupies a high level of the public eye, we can only shudder to imagine his reaction and its repercussions. It might be like an atomic bomb test in the ocean, only not so far from civilization. If you think Trump’s behavior during the campaign and in the post-election days leading up to the Inauguration has been scary, what if he was in such a rage at losing that he called for a convention for the “red states” to secede from the Union?


I’m not saying we should feel grateful Trump was elected. Just sayin’…  it could’ve been even worse than what we are facing now.


Where does all that stress go? It doesn’t vanish. It seeps into every one of your 63 trillion cells. Other estimates of the number of cells in our body are higher, but maybe they make allowance for height and weight. In any case, that’s way more cells than we can count or keep track of. When someone is stressed out, it has a ripple effect and spreads out to family, friends, the workplace and more. You know what it’s like being filled with anxiety, and you know what it’s like to feel relief.


So let’s look at how we can invite relief to come on in and relax all that tension before there’s a massive epidemic of high blood pressure and other ills related to chronic stress.


In my stress management book, Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today, I explain all the ways being in a state of chronic stress is damaging to health. But more to the point for this article, I give in-depth examples of how to create serenity in your life and let go of all that panic. 


In fact, there’s a whole chapter on anxiety attacks called “Breathe, Dammit! – quick ways to stop a panic attack or meltdown.”


Here’s an excerpt:


Method #1 to stop a panic attack – deep breathing


Sometimes, simply noticing that your breath is too fast and shallow is enough to help you take a deep breath and slowly exhale, then relax and breathe normally. This will head off an anxiety attack by giving your brain the proper level of oxygen and nutrients.


At other times, you’ll need to mindfully breathe in and out, slowly and deeply.  If you are breathing in a shallow fashion when you are tensed up, you’ll feed an anxiety attack. It’s a vicious cycle. But you are in charge, and that’s the good news. Isn’t it great to know there’s an easy, painless solution and it doesn’t cost anything extra?


Here’s how to use breathing and affirmative phrasing as a crucial part of your life-changing, panic-reducing regimen:


  1. Count slowly and silently as you inhale, and then exhale. Be sure to do the counting and phrasing in your head, instead of wasting oxygen on speaking out loud.
  2. As you breathe, add empowering silent phrases: inhale on the silent phrase “I am”… exhale on the word “relaxed,” and repeat for at least several minutes… until you feel calmer.
  3. After you’ve mastered the “I am… relaxed” phrasing, add simple variations to your routine with affirmative phrases that involve a key emotion. For example, you could benefit from saying to yourself: “I am… serene,” “I am… confident,” “I am… happy,” “I am… stress-free.”

[end of book excerpt]


Related to thinking about Trump and the kind of ideas he comes up with to terrorize an entire population with pictures of what he’ll do next, I’m reminded of the popularity of horror films.


I feel that one of the reasons horror movies are so popular is that it is actually such a release of tension to get wound up to the point of sheer terror — and then get to the end of the film, heave a massive sigh of relief, calm your racing heart, and go out for a pizza. In comparison with what happened to the characters in the story, your own life’s ups and downs suddenly appear much more manageable.


The key to scaring ourselves silly in order to feel a sense of relief that things aren’t so bad after all, is to not linger on the frightening images long enough to build up worry that maybe they could happen or would happen. Drop that image, move on to something fun and pleasant.


I don’t advocate horror movies and books that have a really strong level of thrill that you absorb all that fear, but since people do watch and read these stories by the millions, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that, and offer a warning: keep track of how you are feeling, and if you’re not bouncing back to cheerfulness after these kinds of thrillers, stop watching and reading them. 


I used to read a lot of espionage thrillers and action adventure stories but then I realized a few years ago that I was so full of tension while reading, I was undoing the calmness I had so carefully cultivated during meditation. I still enjoy a good mystery, but I choose the cozier variety rather than the more violent ones that can be very disturbing as they stimulate thoughts of anger, fear, and helplessness.


Always remember that we think in pictures and we create what we are emotionally imagining. Be careful with your mind power and don’t bring disaster into your life inadvertently by thinking scary thoughts, whether those thoughts are about imagining someone in your family getting into an accident, or worries about the Trump presidency. 


Learning to control our thoughts opens up access to truly manifesting what we desire instead of being the hapless victims of an angry narcissist.



I’ll get into all of this in greater detail in my new book America’s New Breed of Freedom Fighters—coming on Inauguration Day. 

America's New Breed of Freedom Fighters book cover

Are you in? Okay, then put aside the panic, breathe mindfully, and realize this is an incredible opportunity for all of us to “fight” for the freedom and justice we desire.  More to come in the rest of this blog countdown to Inauguration 2017, and in my new book which will be released that day:  America’s New Breed of Freedom Fighters: With Liberty and Justice for All

 Pre-order now on Amazon at:


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