In a world where the standard answer to “How are you?” is “So busy!” We are truly living and valuing stress addiction.
Ever wondered why your creativity and sense of humour leave the building when you are under the gun? Stress takes us out of our smarter front brain and into our reptilian hind-brain where fight or flight rule supreme.
Stress interferes with our ability to communicate and relate with others as well as leading to workplace fatigue, absenteeism, anxiety and disease. The latest research is chilling with the understanding that more than 80% of those turning up at doctor and hospital waiting rooms are there because of what stress has done to downgrade important body systems such as our immune, digestive and endocrine (hormone) centres.
I’m passionate about helping others recognise and cut from the damaging effects of stress as stress nearly took my own life.
15 years ago I was working in the world of laboratory science and was diagnosed with extensive cancer. With medicine unable to give me any answers I used my research skills to unwind my own stress and within a month my immune system began working beautifully and I was not just healthy but pregnant! I had another child a year later and have been healthy ever since.
We can have a fantastic career but in order to keep it, we need to understand how to navigate stress.
As a therapist and author these days, specialising in helping people bust stress, there are many ways to bring more calm to the body from recognising triggers and behaviours that can set off the stress cascade, to understanding greater balance of work versus self-nurture time.
Moving the body in a way that is fun and energising for you, whether that’s turning on some music at home and dancing around your lounge room, or scheduling in a run or a yoga class can mean the difference between being a strong lighthouse for others, or having your batteries run so low that the boats in your life start hitting the rocks!
Fuel in = fuel out and your most important client is You. Ever noticed how when you are in a great place everything in the external world revolves around you so much more peacefully?
A simple tool that works is one I teach my clients most days. This is a great way to hijack the reptilian stressed brain and return to your more Queenly or Kingly self of calm grace. When you can take time out during the day to practice mindful breathing, it can have a dramatic impact on your health, your relationships at work and at home and your general sense of wellbeing.
It’s as simple as taking five deep breaths and noticing where the body is holding stress and unwinding it. We hold a tremendous amount of stress through the shoulders and the great psoas muscles that run from under the navel and wrap around hips. Tight psoas muscles can lead to back pain, knee pain and a variety of other body issues.
When you can take five minutes to sit mindfully, close your eyes and breathe in through the nose for five counts, hold for three counts and breathe out for five counts, all the while relaxing your shoulders down and suggesting to your body a lengthening and relaxing of the hips, bum and thighs something amazing happens. You unwind, you smile and you find your calm centre in the eye of any storm!
As thoughts pop up asking for attention during these few minutes of mindfulness, remind yourself that you are allowed to take a break from them. Simply imagine thoughts as they rise up as speech bubbles over your head that with each breath, you can just gently bat away for later. Our minds chat to us all day, sometimes you are allowed a break! To just simply Breathe!
We often do not have control of what the world throws at us or the pile of tasks and responsibilities that come at us in our day, but we can take a few minutes from time to time to re-set and calm our bodies back into a neutral state.
I guarantee, when you try this and do it routinely it will take you out of anxiety and stress and into a more centred way of being.
Veronica Farmer MA (Hons) BCST is a Healer and Therapist in her clinic in Southport on the Gold Coast and an Amazon Best Selling author of the book ‘Made Beautiful by Scars” http://www.veronicafarmer.com.au