What exactly is stress? Are you aware? Do you understand the process of what it means to stress? Most people in this world are not aware of this is because we were not taught. Simple.
Stress is a reaction from the sympathetic nervous system that keeps us out of danger. So hormones are released to give us the ability to react in an instant. Unfortunately, we are using this system too much these days. We stress about everything and use it as a vice to motivate or stay in a particular mindset. We experience everything in our social order as stress because of the content we are exposed to. For instance, the way we are marketed to, and the types of games and movies we make. The exploitation of violence but sharing no love. We won't get into the mechanisms in place to keep us distracted. The fact is that, our system is on overload, and we are never allowing the Parasympathetic Nervous System to be more active. Let us go over the basics.
Sympathetic nervous system -vs- Parasympathetic
As you see above, the system's design is to give us relaxation and pleasure or to remove or protect us from danger. It is unfortunate that we are constantly living in the fight or flight response rather than relaxation. This causes us illness due to the bombardment of stress hormones, but it also brings about many branches of fear when we look at the external world.
Think about it this way. The moment you wake up thinking about going to work, while also digesting the pressures of the world drives you to be active kick starting your system to increase with a sympathetic response. Your consciousness knows you are unhappy and not satisfied with your circumstance. Not the say you don't love what you do, yet most of what you do is in exchange for money or worth. The driving force is not your passion and desires it's your fear of not having money. This creates a cascade of thoughts, like "what will society think of me as a non-productive member and a deadbeat." Or "how will I ever pay my bills?" We put everything before our own joy and truth. Then settle due to fear and not rational thought.
When we allow for the parasympathetic system to be active, the body naturally heals and produces hormones to help you feel at peace. Hormones that release are Serotonin and Dopamine. They empower us and hold us accountable for taking responsibility for how we feel and react to external conditions. Do you flip out when the shit hits the fan? Do you step back to realize you need to process how you see and feel the circumstance? The latter is an emotionally intelligent response to external ideas and how we could respond rather than react in hast. The stress response is wired to protect us from danger. Some of us perceive that the offensive email you received is life-threatening. It is not, but the body's response releases Cortisol to kick-start the adrenals and suppresses the immune system. Follows is that nauseous feeling we get when anxious. We all know the feeling. Most of the time, the stress response is due to past events or what we have developed as fears.
How do we turn the tide?
It seems impossible to change our feelings when under the influence of this system. The goal is to tune into how you feel and breathe into the belly and mind where the inner battle is happening. The hard fact that is unavoidable is changing the mind and its perceptions. As long as we hold on and repeat the idea and patterns. We will continue to create a stressful environment within our bodies. We want to become aware of how we feel and take our power back by letting go of the stress or reaction to that belief. Below are some steps to help you reset. The brain is only able to focus on one thing at a time. It is key that you take your mind completely off of the ideas that are upsetting you.
Steps to feeling better
The first step is to breathe. Take slow breaths and allow the focus of your breath to fill your belly and abdomen. When you feel the tension pushing against your organs and feel slight pain or discomfort, exhale softly. Changing your thoughts from the said problem to focus on peaceful ones stimulates the chemical to activate the parasympathetic system. Breathe slow and rhythmic until you feel the change in your belly.
Once you have done this, notice how your mind is not full of that stagnate tension behind the forehead. Now allow your head to be filled with space letting go of all distractions from you feeling good. Keep repeating this process as if you are slowly inching yourself down a rope. Feel the incremental release as your guide yourself into a better feeling. This will not be easy at first, especially if you have a chronic habit of self-sabotage. We all do in some way, but now we can choose to feel better.
Practicing this skill will be a large part of your day, even when you are feeling stressed. Remember, these are systems in our body. Sympathetic vs Parasympathetic, which one are you living in?
Be good to yourself,