Settle the Stress

The last time you were worked up, overwhelmed, lost your shite, worried, or just plain strung out, what did you do to get yourself through?

Back in the day, I would just let it all consume me and I would let other people's reactions consume me as well. I didn't have any strategies to calm my farm or to logically let it all go.

I could write an essay on all the things I've learnt since and how I now cope with stressful situations and all the stories that rattle around in my head! Maybe for another day! 

I have two main things that see me through 99% of the time. 

  1. 3-5 deep breaths
  2. "How does this impact me?"

Firstly, often when we're strung out, even for the smallest thing, shallow breathing tells the body it's under threat and it's time to go one high alert ready to fight, flee or freeze. Stress hormones are released and all our blood flow goes to our muscles and heart so we have the capacity to survive.

Clever body thinks that it's time to forget about other hormones and digestion well, it just ain't gonna save your life in an emergency so it all goes on hold. 

3-5 deep, thoughtful breaths is enough to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure and tell the body all is good again. Digestion and hormone production kicks off and you're back on track. 

I use the breath so many times in the day to settle the nervous system. Doesn’t matter if it’s a red light, being put on hold or you’ve hit your head to a dizzy-ing state. Your body doesn’t know the difference so this is how you trick your body into thinking you’ve got your shit together and the internal effect is reduced!

There are so many breathing techniques and benefits and one book that gives you a really good idea how effective breathing can change your health and your sanity, is by James Nestor - Breathe. It’s mind boggling really!

Secondly, it is not unusual to overthink, make assumptions and just get plain worked up over something that possibly doesn’t even impact you, you just need to think about it clearly enough.

It is possible to consider that even the biggest conflict, internal or external, may actually not need to have anything to do with you. How other people behave, what they do or say, doesn’t need to impact you at all if you just allow others to carry the problem and you just smile and wave. I know that sounds very simplistic, but if you think about it, you can take it on to some degree and let go of the stories that surround the things that stress you out.

Yes, there are always sacrifices to be made to keep the peace or avoid getting yourself worked up. These two things are what calm me down enough to help me think clearer coz when we’re stressed out, it is proven that we make crappy choices. Fact!

So there you have it, my first two steps to settling the stress....I may need to lose it before I know I've lost it though 😉

What helps you keep your cool?

Kimberly xo

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