Did you know that chronic stress has a more negative impact on your health than acute stress?
For example, the stress that you feel when approaching a deadline at work has a stronger negative impact than the death of a loved one might, physically speaking.
If there’s anyone who’s mastered the art of remaining calm in a world filled with stress, it’s Deepak Chopra.
In today’s article, we’ll show you how to manage stress effectively with his practical stress-reducing method known as the “airport solution.”
First, let’s identify the two most common forms of stress.
Understanding Chronic Stress vs Acute Stress
According to humanstress.ca, “there are two kinds of stress, each with different effects on the mind and body.”
This type of stress happens when you are repeatedly exposed to situations that release stress hormones, and it is this type of stress that causes the most damage to our health. Scientists assert that our stress response system is not designed to be activated on a regular basis. Eventually, this can lead to a breakdown of bodily systems.
Heart disease, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression have all been linked to chronic stress.
This is the type of stress we experience when something novel occurs. For example, getting into a car accident, losing a loved one, or giving a speech induce acute stress.
While many people may believe that this is the most severe form of stress, it is actually the more useful type of stress. This is because experiencing stress related to a specific situation can give us a boost, making it easier for us to deal with the situation properly.
One study suggests that “Acute stress enhances while chronic stress suppresses cell-mediated immunity.”
The Airport Solution
Since chronic stress is the real enemy here, let’s talk about the brilliant solution that Chopra has developed for dealing with it.
To illustrate his practical tips, he uses the example of finding out your flight has been canceled while you’re at the airport.
Imagine that the airline representative informs you that not only is your flight canceled, but the next available flight is not until five hours later.
Your entire schedule has now been changed. You’ll arrive later, your ride from the airport will have to be informed, maybe you'll miss a meeting or two, and perhaps this also means you’ll miss out on some much-needed sleep.
Automatically, we have patterns with which we attempt to deal with the stress. These will often only exacerbate our symptoms, producing chronic stress. Many will immediately seek out stimulation and distraction such as drinking, taking drugs, or opening up a game on their phone. We each have a choice in how we respond.
According to Chopra.com, here are some tactics you definitely don’t want to use.
Chopra claims that these behaviors and attitudes lead to “fooling yourself into believing that you are adapting to stress.”
Worry is the act of provoking more anxiety within yourself about the situation.
Complaining displays hostility while increasing anger and tension.
Pessimism creates the illusion that the situation is seriously hopeless and cannot be solved.
So what’s the airport solution? It goes like this.
- “Detach yourself from the stressor. At the airport, you can do this by reading a book or finding a place to be alone.
- Become centered. At the airport, you can do this by shutting your eyes to meditate.
- Remain active. At the airport, this means walking around instead of slumping in a chair and waiting.
- Seek positive outlets. At the airport, this might mean shopping, getting a chair massage, or going to a restaurant.
- Rely on emotional support. At the airport, the usual way to do this is by calling a friend or family member on the phone. (A short call announcing that you’ll be late won’t give you emotional support. The key is a conversation with someone meaningful in your life that lasts at least half an hour.)
- Escape if you must. At the airport, if the airline’s behavior gets too outrageous, it saves your psychology to reschedule and go home. (Of course, this not always practical or affordable.)”
Can Aromatherapy Help?
Aromatherapy is defined as “the use of aroma to enhance a feeling of well-being” by Merriam Webster.
Can it be used in this airport crisis to reduce chronic stress?
Remember the second step that Chopra recommends is “getting centered,” and his fourth step is to “seek positive outlets.”
Aromatherapy, which is often practiced through the use of essential oils, can be very beneficial for achieving those two steps.
Taking a slow, deep breath and inhaling pure Lavender Essential Oil can be enough to get centered in a positive way.
In fact, the Korean Society of Nursing Science found that the stress response of those who practiced aromatherapy, including Lavender Essential Oil, was significantly lower than the two control groups.
Breathe Easy is an amazing blend to inhale in times of stress. It can immediately feel as though your breathing is more effortless.
Chronic stress is the worst kind of stress. We face it whenever we experience daily stresses and react in typical, unthoughtful ways. Using the “Airport Solution” from Deepak Chopra, you can put yourself in a much better state of mind while simultaneously decreasing the negative effects that stress can have on your physical and mental health. Aromatherapy can be an excellent form of support to achieve a calmer state of mind.