How To Throttle Stress - before it throttles you!
To retain our health and equilibrium we need to understand and manage the stress in our lives.
We have a 'Stress Awareness Day' each year, and this year (2017) it was on 1st of November - so let's remind ourselves why we need to keep stress under control, and not allow it to disrupt our health, our family life, our career or business, or our friendships.
A bit of stress is a good thing – it motivates us to get things done – but too much is harmful to the mind and body.
The steroid hormone Cortisol is produced if you're often stressed and haven't regained your emotional balance after stressful events.
In time this high level of Cortisol in your system will:
Affect your brain – making you forgetful
Impair your immune system - making you more likely to become ill (about 90% of illness is linked to stress).
Shorten your 'telomeres' - the endings of the strands of your DNA - which can have serious health implications
Make you gain fat around your waist, and not store and use sugar properly
Cause you to age more quickly
Lead to depression
Interfere with your sleep - which has a knock on effect to your eating habits, especially over-eating sugary foods
Lower your libido
Too much stress can even kill you! It raises your blood pressure and puts a strain on your heart!
* Ask yourself – Which sources of my own stress do I have some control over?
Some things you can change, some you can't. You don't have to let things wind you up. How you react is always your choice. Choose wisely. When you know your own 'hot buttons' you can be more prepared in advance to better cope with them.
* When you're feeling stressed I want you to think of ABBA.
The first A of ABBA is for the Adrenalin rush you feel in your body when you're stressed.
The first B is for Beta brainwaves – those fast ones associated with panic, fear, obsessing and focussing on DOING, and on the outside world.
The second B is for Breath – make it slow and extend your outgoing-breath (this calms down your nervous system).
The last letter A is for Alpha brainwaves – the slower ones associated with calmness and clarity, when your focus is upon your inner world and on BEING.
Maybe a little ABBA song and dance will help too!
* Also, regularly 'take a minute' for yourself.
Look at the 'seconds' hand of a watch or clock for one minute – and really notice it slowly going around. Take slow deep breaths to calm yourself.
You can also carefully observe something like a candle flame, the clouds above, or the sea to calm down your mind and body.
This will give your busy and stressed brain time to 'pause'... preferably at least once an hour.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com Where you will find lots of FREE resources designed to help and inform you on your journey towards childhood recovery, self-awareness and inner child healing
www.maxineharleymentoring.com - Therapeutic self-development mentoring for women who want to understand and manage their emotions, boundaries and behaviours.
www.the-ripple-effect.co.uk - 10 online self-help workshops helping you to understand and manage different troublesome aspects of your life - including one called 'HOW TO DE-STRESS YOUR LIFE' (only £27)
www.qpp.uk.com - the new paradigm in therapy which works to change aspects of the sub-conscious belief system that have been restricting well-being