We all have stress and a certain amount of it is actually quite healthy. If we could NOT mount a stress response, our body would begin to stop functioning (think of Addison’s disease). But let’s face it, most of us could do with less! I like to use the analogy of having an internal pilot light. That pilot light should be on a “1-2” and when we need to, we can turn it up to a “7”, “8” or even a “9”. But if we are constantly running at a “7”, “8” or “9”, we are burning out all our fuel. In this case, the fuel is our adrenal glands, which secrete both hormones and neurotransmitters, which, in turn, help us when we need to get away from the proverbial Sabre-Toothed tiger.
How Can I Lower My Stress Levels?
(1) Let It Go!!!
My opinion is that stress is often anger or frustration that we haven’t released. How often are we driving and someone cuts us off and we can feel our blood pressure rise? We can reframe it and say, ‘well maybe the guy is taking his wife to the ER’, but honestly, that only works for so long and it doesn’t get to the underlying root cause of our anger. A better choice would be to just let yourself have a good scream in the car (other passengers plug your ears!). Just let it go!!! You might find when you do this that you want to have a good cry because it brought up something else within you. So then, have a good cry!! (you might want to pullover in this case).
Letting go of anger and frustration will help your body release emotions and lower your ‘pilot light’. I personally keep a baseball bat under my bed, and when I am feeling angry, I just go upstairs and hit the bed. I feel so much better because I have let my emotions OUT rather than keeping them IN. And equally as important, I’m not taking it out on my partner, children and/or colleagues which just makes them, well, angry. The more you release your anger, the less stress you will start to feel in your body. The same goes with FEAR. If we allow ourselves to just feel the fear inside of us, we can help release it. The “fearful” situation may still be there, but the EFFECT on our body will be lessened and this is the important point!
After you have let it go, you might want to take a moment to pray or reflect and ask for God’s help in dealing with whatever issue is really the underlying cause of your anger or fear. I truly believe we need to be more “God reliant”.
(2) We all need to be more loving to ourselves. Not pampering—loving. So, if this means not taking the kids to all their activities because you need some time for yourself—take it. Take time for yourself because no one will give it to you! It also shows others, especially children, that self-love is as important as filial love.
(3) Eat as healthy as you can, limit or eliminate alcohol, get plenty of sleep and try to get some exercise daily—sound familiar???
(4) Take adaptogenic herbs. Next blog