How stress keeps from fulfillment
Did you know that the speed of our daily life is far to high for our body? It creates stress which blockes our body to do it's work in keeping us healthy and happy.
This automatic response developed in our ancient ancestors as a way to protect us from predators and other threats. Faced with danger, our body still kicks into gear, flooding us with hormones that elevate our heart rate, increase our blood pressure, boost our energy and prepare us to deal with the situation.
Today, we're not likely to be eaten, but you probably do confront many challenges every day; meeting deadlines, paying bills and juggling childcare that make your body react the same way. As a result, your body's natural alarm system — the “fight or flight” response — may be stuck in the 'on' position. And that can have serious consequences for your health and fulfillment.
The longer the stress lasts, the worse it is for both your mind and body. You might feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no good reason, for example.
And here's where the problem arises; what do we do when we're tired? We try to make things easier - short term. We order some pizza, light a scented candle, lie down on our couch and watch tv. We drag ourselves through the next day, and the next one and the next one. And when it's the weekend again, we drink a little bit too much and too fast, and we wait untill monday arrives and the train goes further and further. We long for the holidays, for rest, for freedom, but we feel stuck in exactly the opposite.
You'll be old before you know it...
And then your life will be over. Not nice to read, I know, but you know it's the truth, right?
Don't you think that would be a shame? Don't you think you owe it to yourself to create the life you were born for? To share with the world who you truly are? Your unique beauty, your talents, your love? There's a world outside that desperately needs you.
So we have to step out of that train, and take back the control of our life and energy.
Reducing your stress levels will not only make you feel better right now, but will also protect your health long-term. That means you will be able to enjoy that fulfilled life a lot longer ;-).
How to break through this situation?
The first and most important thing is to answer this question: Why? Why would you want to live without stress? Why do you want to do it better? Why is your life so important to you? Why are YOU so important to yourself?
Please, this is the essential part. It is the fundamental drive under your actions. You will need it in the process, so write down your answers, preferably on a beautiful paper that you'll keep close so you'll see it all day...
Then proceed with these steps:
- Identify what's causing stress. Monitor your state of mind throughout your day. If you feel stressed, write down the cause, your thoughts and your mood. Once you know what's bothering you, develop a plan for addressing it. That might mean setting more reasonable expectations for yourself and others or asking for help with household responsibilities, job assignments or other tasks. List all your commitments, assess your priorities and then eliminate any tasks that are not absolutely essential.
- Build strong relationships. Relationships can be a source of stress. Research has found that negative, hostile reactions with your spouse cause immediate changes in stress-sensitive hormones, for example. But relationships can also serve as stress buffers. Reach out to family members or close friends and let them know you're having a tough time. They may be able to offer practical assistance and support, useful ideas or just a fresh perspective as you begin to tackle whatever's causing your stress.
- Go for a walk. Walking or other physical activities can help you work off steam. Plus, exercise increases the production of endorphins, your body's natural mood-booster. Commit to a daily walk or other form of exercise — a small step that can make a big difference in reducing stress levels.
- Rest your mind. According to studies, stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults lying awake at night. To help ensure you get the recommended seven or eight hours of shut-eye, cut back on caffeine, remove distractions such as television or computers from your bedroom and go to bed at the same time each night. Research shows that activities like yoga and relaxation exercises not only help reduce stress, but also boost immune functioning.
- Get help. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, consult with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional who can help you learn how to manage stress effectively. He or she can help you identify situations or behaviors that contribute to your chronic stress and then develop an action plan for changing them.