26 Jun Learn how to control your stress – and feel alive again.
To learn how to control your stress is possibly the best gift you could offer yourself to create a greater sense of well-being and enhanced health. During the many years of working as a Stress and Anxiety Management Practitioner, it is clear to me, that stress is an epidemic that flows through people from any walk of life; from any social demographic and with any race, gender or career path.
No one is immune to its clutches unless you make specific changes to your mindset with how you perceive what stress is. And on the flip side, just because you have struggled with stress for many years, there is no reason why you can’t regain control and feel alive again!
Understanding the stress response
What is stress? Stress is a natural response designed to protect and defend us from any possible threat. Part of the Automatic Nervous System, the stress response enables your body to get prepared to either fight off the threat or to run away from it. The hormones adrenaline and cortisol pump through the body, increasing the heart rate. Blood leaves the digestive system to energise the extremities with extra blood and oxygen. Vision becomes fully focused on the threat and you breathe quickly from your upper chest. You are not designed to remain in this state for a long period of time. The physical exertion from the fighting or fleeing the threat means that the adrenaline gets used up, returning you to the natural state of relaxation. Some stress is also essential for optimum performance. The adrenaline clears our mind for good focus, enables good problem-solving abilities, keeps us energised and motivated. All very necessary for us to survive and to progress. However, with a properly functioning nervous system the natural relaxation state needs to kick in for balance.
What is a natural relaxation state?
This is when we are either in a restful state to sleep or in an alert relaxed state. The hormone acetylcholine which enables the body to rest and digest, slows the heart and breathing, and diverts the blood supply to the gut. This means that you are breathing rhythmically from your diaphragm, your focus is in peripheral vision and you feel calm inside. In evolutionary terms, this state allows you to be looking for any perceived threat from the wide vision and your body can nourish and restore itself. In a perfect world, you will be going between these 2 responses throughout the day when appropriate.
When does stress become a problem?
Our stress response can start taking over when our everyday life is filled with perceived threats. These include: The rush in the morning to leave the house; the busy road or late train; the financial worries; rushing from one deadline to another; fear of failing; working with people you don’t like; loneliness and countless others.
The issue is that once your daily life becomes perceived as the threat, your stress response never switches off meaning the restorative processes don’t kick in.
This can create all sorts of issues emotionally, physically and energetically.
This can include:
- Impact on health such as IBS, increased blood pressure and diabetes
- Bad concentration, lack of focus and reduced short term memory
- Constant fatigue
- Lack of motivation
- Mood change
- Changes in eating patterns/ increased stimulant intake such as alcohol, caffeine and sugar
What can you do to take control of your stress and feel alive again?
By learning to control your stress, understanding your triggers and bringing your focus in to encourage you natural relaxed state. How do you do this?
By dealing with the stress and gaining tools to help you with any future stressful situations. You can stop the build-up of stress before it takes control by making subtle changes to how you perceive the stress and how you respond to the environment you live and work in. There are 10 key factors that you can reflect on that can make a huge difference to your life. You can read more about that here (I need a link to my other article here)
The benefits of living in a more relaxed state:
- Better health
- Clearer mind
- Improved relationships
- Feel energised with increased motivation and concentration
- Optimise your performance at work, home and physically
- Feel like you have control of yourself again
- Feel alive again
If you want to take control of your stress and feel alive again, why not contact Giselle today and find out how she can help you reconnect to the joy within your life and experience greater energy levels to fully enjoy it.