Stress is quite difficult to define because it means different things to different people. Some forms of stress are physical; some are mental, emotional and even spiritual. We all have different lives, different circumstances, life experiences, jobs, living conditions and diets. All of these factors can contribute to our total stress load.
At times like this your heart beats faster, your blood pressure increases and you breathe faster, pumping maximum oxygen and energy-rich blood to your muscles. Your liver releases more sugar into your blood ready for action and even breaks down your own muscle mass to supply your cells with fuel. In evolutionary terms, this is a remarkable system that has helped our species survive. It’s called the Fight or Flight response.
As humans we are unique in that we are constantly exposed to stress. In the wild, animals aren’t exposed to stress in the same way as we are. For example, an animal chasing another for food will either kill it & the stress ends, or the target escapes & again the stress ends. Stress can be categorised in a number of different ways.
Eating poor quality foods, Processed foods
Sugar, Alcohol, Caffeine (tea, coffee etc)
Gluten intolerance and other food reactions
Over the counter and recreational drugs
Over exposure to toxins such as plastics, metals, pesticides, preservatives.
Excessive exercise & even too little exercise
Worries over money, job, security
Relationship issues, Family problems
Feeling lost in life etc.
When any of the above is going on in the body, it will produce cortisol. When we are under short term or severe stress, cortisol is a lifesaver, because it increases blood pressure and diverts the body’s resources to the brain and muscles, to help our fight or flight reaction, but excessive cortisol can cause havoc in the body and can lead to stomach ulcers and more.
Prevention is better than cure; therefore awareness of what our body is telling us is very important, as is relaxation and meditation. Complete relaxation is the brain not having to do anything, but this comes with practice. So to begin, we start by giving the brain simple tasks such as ‘breathe in and out’, or counting as we breathe, which helps relax the body. Doing this on regular basis will show great results such as:
* Drop in cholesterol levels.
*Improved flow of air to the lungs
*Decreases the ageing process.
*Decreased anxiety and depression.
*Improved learning ability and memory.
*Increased feelings of vitality, happiness & joy
So sit comfortably…..Relax....Close your eyes....
Take a long easy breath - let go of all responsibilities, that’s right - all issue are shaking off now. Take another breath. Letting go of all the ‘should be’s’- and all the ‘could be’s’ of the day.....Letting go of the inner critique which is always keeping you busy.
Breathing in and breathing out....that’s right.....Breathing in and breathing out. Just feeling the breath now. Carry this on for a few minutes.
Then bring your awareness back into the room and when you are ready you can open your eyes.