As a Life Coach and Spiritual Healer, I meet many people from all walks of life with various degrees of challenges and struggles on an ongoing basis. This usually shows up in the body as stress in one of its many disguises. It is my greatest pleasure to help each and every client to tap into their inner resources and restore balance once again to their life. “If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension- and if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it” George Burns. In this article, I would like to address the term “Stress” and also to offer you some practical tools and strategies for management of same. Bringing balance to the stress response: Think of your body as a miraculous being, you don’t even have to think about keeping your heart beating, your lungs breathing and all of the intricate workings of your organs etc. The Automatic Nervous System (ANS) is made up of multiple parts and is responsible for many functions, including the natural stress control system. There are two main components in the ANS: The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The SNS activates the Fight or Flight response and floods the body with Adrenaline and Cortisol, prepares the body for fight or flight, sends extra blood/ oxygen to the limbs, dilates the pupils and plays an important role in the body’s defence system. This is what is activated when you hear of mothers lifting cars off trapped children. During our normal daily stresses, the body prepares in the same way and the extra adrenaline and cortisol aren’t discharged and if left unchecked it will take its toll on your overall health and stress levels. The PNS, on the other hand, is there to help us to rest and to digest our food. It helps us to relax and recharge and it really is the body’s natural design. The heartbeat slows down, the mind relaxes, your food is digested and you let go of stress. This is known as The Parasympathetic Response and it allows us to recuperate and enjoy natural relaxation. Both systems need to work in harmony to keep us feeling balanced and functioning properly. I like to call this a state of relaxed alertness, whereby we have a healthy balance for happy and effective living. Stress occurs when the SNS is doing too much and the PSN is doing too little. It is important that you try to identify your stressors and work toward reducing/eliminating them.
Here are some useful tips and tools for stress management.
- Exercise regularly to release endorphins,
- Have fun and laugh whenever possible
- Take up Laughter Yoga
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Seek out happy people
- Take adequate rest Reduce sugar, caffeine, smoking etc
- Do something every day that you enjoy
- Spend time in nature
- Create a stress journal
- Work with a life coach
- Reframe problems- look at the big picture
- Create a gratitude journal
- Take up a relaxing hobby
- Form a meditation practice
- Balance work, rest and fun
- Manage your time and make time for you!