Change freaks people out. So does lack of control. Whenever there is change happening, there will be some level of confusion. Confusion almost always leads to stress. Stress also results from a lack of living in the present moment - from focusing on that major thing that happened, didn’t happen, or might someday happen. A constant state of this way of thinking will catch up with you quickly and can be crippling. Go on and take your power back, breathe, process, and chill the f*ck out. I say that so lovingly, I promise.
The thing to remember is that life is happening right here and now. It doesn’t serve anyone to focus on “what-if’s” but instead focus on what IS: what can you right now to make this very moment better? How can you shift from a place judgment of a circumstance or situation to one of discernment? What's your part in all of this unhappiness? And when feeling all the feels and off-ground, how can you stop and love it all anyway? What is the lesson?
Learning how to handle stress in the moment will be the best gift you ever give to yourself. You have a choice when it comes to your response. It takes practice to exercise this choice when it comes to modifying behavior or alchemizing toxic thoughts into lessons, growth, and movement. When put into practice, this has a cascading effect on positivity and clarity. Having been a highly anxious person for most of my life, I know what you are going through. I feel you.
It is important to know that the body mainly heals when it is calm - when the Autonomic Nervous System shifts into Parasympathetic mode and it is able to rest and repair. For this reason, increasing awareness around stress triggers and handling stress in the moment are essential. Putting it to the back of your mind or “dealing with it later” is not effective and will make the processing/expression of stress that much worse later on. This includes “focusing on the positive.” There’s a good intention behind the power of positivity movement, but we must remember that all circuits, cycles, and relationships operate according to polarity: positive AND negative, yin AND yang, light AND darkness. The expression will manifest one way or another, so you may as well have a say in how it happens.
The body is a flow system. It is designed to receive, process, and let go, and it must be able to do so in order to heal. This applies to food as much as it applies to experiences, especially those that can cause a more dramatic and damaging stress response.
Here are a few fun facts about how stress affects the body provided by the HeartMath Institute:
1. Stress is recognized as the #1 proxy killer disease today. The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human disease.
2. YOUR BODY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN BIG STRESS OR LITTLE STRESS. A typical stress reaction, experienced dozens of times per day per individual, begins with a cascade of 1400 biochemical events in your body. If these reactions are left unchecked, we experience premature aging, impairment of cognitive function, drain in energy, and inhibited effectiveness & clarity.
3. We can control how we respond to stress. “We don’t need to be victims to our own emotions, thoughts, and attitudes. (Remember: you have a choice here. Choose your focus. Choose how long you will be pissed or sad or scared.) We can control how we respond to stress and we can become more sensitive to stressful situations and how they are affecting us before it manifests as physical, mental, or emotional complaint. (So, choose again. Keep choosing until you feel yourself getting your power back.) There are simple, scientifically validated solutions to stress that empower people to rewire their own stress response. (Heart Math is a great resource for this, and so am I.)
4. The best way to manage stress is to deal with it the very moment you feel it come up. Millions of Americans unsuccessfully us the binge-and-purge approach when it comes to stress. They stress out all day, believing that they can wait until later to recover when they go to an evening yoga class, go to the gym, or chill out when they take the weekend off. Unfortunately, when we put off going for our own inner balance our bodies have already activated the stress response and it’s our health that suffers.”
For more information on how to handle stress in the given moment, reach out to me. You can also check out literature from where we referenced this article on the HeartMath Institute‘s website for further information on how handling stress in the moment benefits overall health.