Stress the ‘buzz’ word for ‘things’ which we feel when we are overwhelmed – so what really is Stress? It is your physical and emotional response to demands put on you. They can actually be pleasurable demands such as getting married, being promoted, having a baby or difficult demands such as redundancy, bereavement or divorce. You can take charge, empower yourself and relax.
In times before corner shops, supermarkets, kiosks etc our ancestors faced many dangers when hunting and gathering food – be it vegetables, meat, fish, cappuccinos and so on - therefore they evolved both physically and emotionally to deal with the danger through ‘fight, flight, freeze, avoid or absorb’. However in modern day life our everyday ‘stressors’ are much less (it may not seem like that!) though our ‘make-up’ has remained the same.
Hormones are sent around the body, they 'fire up' the Sympathetic Nervous System getting you ready for the 'fight, flight, freeze, avoid or absorb'. The Parasympathetic Nervous System - the 'rest and relaxation' system - stands down. During long periods of stress you remain in the 'fight, flight, freeze or avoid' mode and never get a chance to truly relax - so you feel irritable, tense, angry - finding it difficult to focus and so on. Your immune system becomes depleted and you may get unexplained illnesses, headaches, other aches and pains and you just can't seem to 'shake off' that cold. You may also find you are drinking more; coffee, tea, wine, beer, fizzy drinks, eating more cakes, or smoking more, and so on - as these may initially feel like a 'treat' at the end of a hard day. Ultimately they are stimulants and persistent use or excessive use can add to stress and/or poor health.
Tips on how to relax
All of these will help to re-engage that parasympathetic nervous system and have a calming influence
Sometimes we can get stuck in a particular negative way of thinking or feeling and just can't seem to 'get out of it'. Prep! A Thought Bowl can really help.
The advantage is you don't have to have the same negative circular thinking and feelings going around, you've already done the prep to give yourself options; to begin re-programming yourself.
This doesn't mean avoiding responsibility if action is needed. This does mean you have calmed yourself down to enable yourself to think differently, more clearly and feel more empowered about any course of action. It does mean you are taking a more loving attitude towards yourself, a kinder attitude and more growthful attitude. That which we focus on grows. We are born to grow and to honour our potential.
© Nicole Marais
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