There is only one trigger for stress – fear. Stress is a primal neurobiological response to a real threat to your life (i.e. a wild dog, predatory individual, or on-coming vehicle). We fear for our lives and our bodies react. In modern, daily life we often react to perceived threats. We fear someone’s judgment, falling short of other’s expectations, or loosing a part of our selves –i.e. our identities as parent, partner, or senior VP. When feeling stressed, start with the knowledge that you are not in real, immediate danger.
Build the habit of taking 3 deep breaths, five times a day, everyday. When you feel stress-out, return to your breath and engage the PNS. Learn to actively relax within, during, and after a stressful experience.
2) Knowing is Not Doing: How often do you find yourself saying ‘I know I should relax’, or ‘I know I should take better care of myself’? The stress response prepares your body to take action. When you feel stress, your body is sending you a message – things must change. This action and change need not be huge and life-altering. By doing nothing you are reinforcing a message that you are powerless in your life. Disempowerment fuels stress. By ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ you reduce the experience of stress symptoms – i.e. headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, anxiety, and mild depression.
3) You are what you ‘eat’: Consume things that serve you well. These ‘things’ may be healthy food, engaging relationships, challenging practices, physical exercise, peaceful living situations, or well-paid, supportive work. We are all the sum of our experiences and choices. Choose to consume wisely.
Read this piece on the SQ-Wellness Blog