How To Interupt Cycles Of Stress Overload by Arnie Kozak

Arnie Kozak, a clinical psychologist, talks about reducing stress with mindfulness. Here is some excerpts.

One stress may pile upon another. Stress at work; stress at home. …Think about your car’s engine idle. Ideally, the engine idles at 1,000 RPMs and accelerates to deal with challenges in the driving environment such as hills and passing other cars. It then returns to a nice low idle waiting for the next challenge. Imagine, though, if your engine was idling at 2,000 or 3,000 RPMs. You can see how you might wear out your engine. Chronic stress does this to your body. Somehow, we need to break the aforementioned cycle and get the engine idle back to 1,000 RPMs.

Punctuating your day with small sips of present moment attention can help to interrupt these cycles. Devoting your attention to 3 minutes of breathing, for example, every hour so could go a long way towards lowering your engine idle. 

Mindfulness practice won’t eliminate the stressful circumstances of your life but it can help to change the cycle. Instead of reaching for a drink, you can reach for your breath. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, you can dwell in your bodily sensations. You can even use mindfulness to help you sleep better.


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