|Posted on 28 May, 2015 at 13:40|
Every now and again I find that my life speeds up to a pace that I find difficult to manage. I go and go until my body starts to feel unwell and I am forced to slow down. I have a tendency to go past the point of needing to stop. I end up having to take time out of work in order to take of my body and myself.
I realize that this is a pattern with me. Its time to learn how to slow things down sooner as my stress levels are starting to play havoc on my physical body.
As a counsellor, I know all the warning signs and regularly advise my clients around the topic of managing stress. Yet I continually choose to ignore the messages being sent from my body, some common ones being, chest pain, sleep disruption, upset stomachs, poor concentration and excessive tiredness. Why is that?
A high percentage of patients attending their doctors with physical ailments, are stressed. Doctors attribute stress as a major contributor to many diseases. For me, I do believe my work related stress is most certainly the main reason for my ill health.
Recognising that something is the root cause and doing something about it are two totally separate things.
I decided to simplify my life and create an action plan in order to take better care of myself and step in sooner when stress starts to take hold. My goal is to prevent rather than treat acute stress. A tall order. I needed a simple checklist in order to recognise when stress was starting to take hold.
Simple steps to identify stress: -
1. Sleep – How are you sleeping? Is it difficult to get to sleep or stay asleep. Are you waking up feeling exhausted? Are you waking up feeling very low?
2. Thoughts - Do you find it difficult to switch off and relax? Are you constantly thinking and analyzing planning ahead and going over in your mind what needs to be done next?
3. Can you actually sit down and relax?
4. Do you have time in your day just for you, maybe to go for a walk or to sit undisturbed for a half hour?
5. How do you eat? Do you eat on the run? Do you have a healthy balanced diet? Are you too busy to eat properly or regularly?
6. Do you feel anxiety or tension for extended periods in the day?
7. When something goes wrong in your day how do you respond?
8. If someone else was to answer these questions for you would they determine that you are stressed?
9. Are you constantly getting unexplained pains and aches in your body? Do you find yourself regularly sick?
Stress can kill you. Your health is more important than your job, than the bills, than the house. Learning to manage your stress levels is like learning to ride a bike. Once you learn some tools and techniques, you will know them for life. There are proven tools and techniques that directly tackle stress.
I found for me that I need different responses for different types of stress. I figured out that the more techniques I knew the better equipped I am to take care of myself.
After admitting to myself that my stress levels are high. I have to get to a point to decide to do something about it. I am still trying to make that decision earlier. I know this is something I am still learning to master.
My route starts with the focus on the physical. I attend to my body first.
I look at my eating pattern and adjust this accordingly. – I follow a healthy eating plan and make time to shop for healthy foods and prepare foods that nurture and agree with my body. I sit down to eat and eat with no distractions. I eat only when I am hungry and stop eating when satisfied. I listen to our Hypnosis CD’s that were created for this purpose in order to help me reconnect with my eating wisdom.
I look at my schedule and cut down on my commitments. I may have to take time off work, which is not always an easy thing to do.
I make a point of scheduling exercise into my daily routine. Exercise increases the happy hormones in your body. After twenty minutes of moderate exercise you will feel much better.
I have discovered hypnosis CD’s combined with energy healing and therapeutic interventions very effective. I use them to remove blocks and bring me into a meditative state. Every time I listen, my stress levels reduce dramatically.
I also use tapping techniques to alleviate anxiety and fear. I find by tapping and focusing on this issue at hand, my anxiety reduces dramatically. I follow this with filling the space with positive affirmations. My mind quiets down and I can access a more restful place.
Talking it out. If you have a good friend with a listening ear, it is very beneficial in figuring out what is stressing you. A problem shared is a problem halved. Often just talking it out will bring clarity and help you negotiate whatever is stressing you out.
Stress is about choice. Can you choose to do something about it. You are worth it.