CALMING YOUR STRESS
Your breath is quick, sharp and unsteady.
Your mood is anxious, irritable and frankly, flat-out stressed.
There’s a knot in your belly, tightness in your neck and shoulders, and a persistent will-never-shut-up dialogue on loop in your mind.
You either want to fight, or you want to jump on a big jet plane, and get the hell as far away from this feeling as you can!
This is our flight or flight response– our instinctive, built-in stress reaction, which has historically prepared us for to ‘fight’ or ‘flee’ a perceived threat to our survival.
On a physical level, your nerve cells fire up and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into your bloodstream when in fight or flight response. This causes your respiratory rate to increase, your blood to shunt away from your digestive tract and to instead direct to your muscles and limbs. If you are to run away or fight, you need extra energy and fuel!
Your pupils then dilate. Your awareness intensifies. Your sight sharpens. Your impulses quicken. Your perception of pain diminishes. Your immune system mobilises with increased activation. You become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight. You begin scan and search your environment, ‘looking for the enemy.’
You can take a guess what is happening mentally while these responses are in full force in our bodies. You’re far from rational. Everything and everyone is a possible threat when in this ‘attack’ mode so cue the overreaction to the slightest comment, exaggerated fear and distorted thinking.
You see the world through a filter of danger and you find it near impossible to cultivate positive thoughts and feelings. Your heart is not open and your consciousness is focused on fear, not love.
You lose the ability to relax and enjoy the moment. Living from crisis to crisis, burnout is inevitable and is what will usually motivate you to change your life for the better. Propelled to step back and look at the big picture of your life—you are forced to examine your beliefs, your values and your goals.
Dr Libby Weaver, the internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist, author and speaker says as women, we are in a mad rush to do everything and be everything to all people more than ever before in history. We are wired yet tired. There is a relentless urgency and perception that there is not enough time combined with a to-do list that will never be complete.
Our bodies and minds are suffering detrimentally as a consequence. The ‘Rushing Women’s Syndrome,’ as she calls it, is leading to widespread cases of PMS to IBS to losing our tempers and feeling like we can’t cope.
Dr Libby Weaver has these three tips for you to help you calm your stress and let go of the pressure, and come back to what matters most.
Breathe from the diaphragm
Your breath is your guide. It is an inner mirror. A narrator. Always with you and ever-present. Shut down your eyes and breathe deeply into your belly (your diaphragm), in and out of your nose. When you breathe from the diaphragm, you are telling your body you are safe and secure.
Drink less coffee
You don’t need to avoid coffee all together if you love it, but reducing your consumption of the liquid gold will allow your adrenal glands to do the work they are designed to do and lower your stress hormone production in the process.
Explore your perception of pressure and urgency
Be in touch with what a gift life is! Is what you have on your to-do list really that important? Can it wait half an hour while you have a cup of herbal tea, call your best friend or roll around and play pic-a-boo with the kids? Remember, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. In order to show up happy and healthy every day, make YOU the top priority.
P.S. We promise you are not selfish for taking care of you!