Why Traditional “Stress Management” Doesn’t Work

Try running into a screaming child’s room who has just had a nightmare and encourage her to do some diaphragm breathing.  How about giving a neck massage to your 6 year old who is scared of the dark?  Seem ludicrous?  Well it is.  Traditional “stress management” programs that teach traditional techniques such as the ones just mentioned are ineffective and do not get to the root of your problems.  They are simple avoidance techniques like “think about something else” or “try not to think about it.”  The problem is that your brain still knows what is going on.

 Traditional Stress Management Techniques work; in the short term...

Traditional Stress Management Techniques work; in the short term...

The unconscious brain is responsible for 80% of your behavior.  


By ignoring our problems or stress, or trying to massage them, or exercise them away we just push them further down into our subconscious minds.  And, like a section of rust underneath a freshly painted car, they will resurface, sometimes at the times we least expect them.


Facing our problems/stress is the first step to a road of true resilience.  Resilience is the term we use to explain a flexible strength that allows us to bounce back from adversity.  We need resilience.  We crave it.  Resilience is what has allowed humans to thrive for thousands of years.  Unfortunately, we have become physically softer through the amenities of life and, because of the interconnectivity or our human systems, our mental, emotional, and spiritual resilience have followed suit.


Becoming truly resilient requires effort, discipline, and a plan.  


The 4 human dimensions (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) need to be simultaneously challenged in order to achieve true resilience.  If you can find something that engages you across the 4 dimensions, you are able to achieve resilience more effectively.  However, there is a catch.  


True resilience cannot be achieved on your own.  


In order to achieve true resilience, you must train and perform in an unexpected situation.  You see, control and stress operate hand in hand.  When control goes up, stress goes down.  And, conversely, when control goes down, stress goes up.  Resilience is the ability to be comfortable when you are out of control.  So the only way to achieve true resilience is to have someone else challenge you in ways that you cannot predict or expect. 


In the end, it is worth taking a look at your traditional “stress management” techniques.  They may work in the short term, but to build long term effectiveness and to avoid falling for the next fad diet, exercise program, or self help program, start practicing true resilience today.  What you will find is a primeval connection with yourself that will never be broken.  


You will find an “inside out” connectivity between your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions that, although very basic, is very challenging to balance and practice. 


With the right training plan and coach, you will be able to achieve what many have tried but few have mastered.  Long term resilience.  So the next time someone tells you to breath deeply, walk away…


“Lean into it!”


Ed Naggiar 

emember to check out our Resilience Video of the Day HERE!