What is Stress?
Stress, as defined in the dictionary, is ‘A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.’
Where does stress come from? Generally the pressures of everyday life and the pressures we put on ourselves. Stress isn’t always from negative things happening, it can also come from enjoyable things such as a new baby, buying a new car, creating your own business.
Change, of any description, can affect our energy and in doing so our health. Any form of change requires our physical, mental and emotional selves to adapt. In adapting we are using our energy resources – they are continually being depleted, and we need to replenish them by looking after ourselves with a good food supply, exercise and rest.
What makes stress negative?
When our bodies respond to demanding situations it is usually fear based. We produce adrenalin and our ‘fight and flight’ response kicks in. If this response is ongoing our bodies run out of energy and we become ‘burnt out’. This can show up in different way for each of us – we all handle stress differently.
Life doesn’t stop for us – but we do have the power to control how we choose to deal with it. If we choose to always see the negative aspect, then our bodies will constantly be on ‘high alert’ – all the time. This puts out bodies out of balance and we eventually get sick.
Stress management is not about putting a lid on your stress. It’s about working with the stress so that you are not so reactive to it. Some stress can be good and make us work towards productivity, creativity and a stimulating life. Some stress is very detrimental and unnecessary to our lives.
Below are some ways to help you handle any stress in your life:
Awareness – take note of how you feel when you accumulate stress and use it as your sign to exercise self compassion & look after yourself
Don’t take things personally – by allowing other people or situations to affect us in a negative way increases our stress
Change what you can but deal with and accept what you cannot change – avoid things escalating and getting out of control (Do this all in a state of awareness.)
Breathing Exercises – daily breathing exercises, edition, yoga or exercise everyday
Act on your own priorities first – don’t act on what others expect of you
Think before you proceed – if you look like biting off more than you can chew, think again. Is it worth proceeding?
Find a hobby or an outlet – create space in your life that is centred on enjoyment and relaxation
Reduce stimuli in your life – this might include alcohol, tobacco, sugar, processed foods and caffeine
Avoid negative self talk – look at ‘tough situations’ and ‘frustrations’ as stepping stones to growth
Look for your early signs of stress – this might include headaches, continual tiredness.
Remember stress is cumulative – just like a rubber band that is continuously stretched, it will eventually snap.
The healthiest option to living is to focus on positive and productive things. Enjoy life don’t become bogged down by it. The lesson is to be kind to yourself by feeding yourself well, looking after you, taking time out to rest and work on reducing the fear (the worries and woes!)
Love & light,
Which of the above suggestions have you found help you to reduce your stress?