Are you someone who suffers from stress?
Or you think you might be? (I know, sometimes it is not so clear).
I totally get it, I've been there. For more than a year, I had a chronic headache and pain in my stomach.
I was living on daily pain killers, numbing the pain and assuming it was "normal".
I saw many doctors and no one was able to tell me what was wrong. I got so many diagnosis like "Maybe you need to do a food intolerance test", or "Maybe you have an allergy" or my favourite "are you sure you have pain?".
I went as far as taking an MRI and I remember my neurologist staring me in the eyes and telling me "you are stressed".
At first I didn't even believe him. I responded saying "no I am not!".
What happened next allowed me to see things with a complete new eye. The doctor asked me to pull out a paper and write how my daily life looks like.
As I wrote the list, I could for the first time actually "feel" the stress. I was in that moment able to connect every pain and stiffness in my body to the cause of it all - stress.
There are MANY amazing de-stress techniques you could come across. What is important is allow yourself to experiment with different tools and find out what works for YOU.
What I will focus on here is brining awareness to your state through introspection.
Take time to answer the questions I suggest, journal about it and see what insights come your way.
1. Connect to the Body.
Awareness is the starting point towards healing and growth.
Is your body trying to give you signals that you might be ignoring? Could your pain be a result of stress?
List all the ways in which stress could be impacting your physical health.
Then list all the ways your body could be impacting your mental health.
When you become aware and you mindfully accept that you are stressed and understand how it is impacting you, you can start to control it. Some common signs that you could be stressed:
- Chronic pain
- Shallow breathing
- Low Libido
- Low Immunity
- Change in Apetite
- Change in sleeping patterns
2. Change your Perception.
Many of us live under a lot of stress because of the expectations that is put on us to "deliver and perform".
We are expected to be doing and achieving new things almost daily. We live in a time where empowerment and growth is a societal expectation. So take time to understand your "perception of pressure".
- What is really pressuring you? Make a list of everything on your mind.
- Make a list of your daily and weekly goals.
- Can you change your perception of what is urgent? what is really important?
- Highlight the top 3 important goals only.
- Can you have more impact on what matters by actually doing LESS?
- Do you take time every day and every week to reflect and set your priorities straight?
Time management could be a great process to support you in taking time to reflect on your daily, weekly and monthly goals. It allows you set your priorities straight and reflect on what goals will make the biggest difference.
One of my favourite tools for time management is "Big Rocks" Technique. Find what works for you and take time this weekend to plan for the week's to come.
Movement supports you in releasing endorphins (increases pleasure and releases stress), balances your mood and supports your overall wellbeing.
Find a movement practice which you can rely on almost daily. There is no right or wrong. Dance, shake, run, swim...just find movement - it is natural!
- From 1-10 how would you rate your "Physical Exercise"?
- What movement practice has allowed you to release stress in the past?
- What is a movement practice that you can easily integrate into your life?
- What is one small action you can take this week to integrate more movement in your life?
Well we are always breathing. However conscious breathing can allow us to slow down and concentrate on what matters.
When we connect to the breath, we control our actions consciously and live in more balance.
There are many breathing techniques that have shown proven results in decreasing blood pressure and supporting relaxation in the body. I will share 2 key ones here that you can practice any time of the day and especially when you feel stressed:
- Abdominal Breathing: breathing deeply into the belly. Inhale allow the belly to expand out. Exhale allow the belly to contract in.
- 4-7-8 Nostril Breathing: Breath in for a count of 4. Hold the breath for a count of 7. Breath out for a count of 8.
5. Identify the Stressor
Connect back to different areas in your life that could be impacting your overall wellbeing. Stress is a result of something that is not working well for you.
- Assess from 1-10 your level of happiness in those key areas of life: career - relationships - social life - spirituality
- Identify the two key areas that didn't rank high and assess what is happening there? what have you been ignoring for so long?
- Could this be a source of stress or unhappiness in your life?
- What is one thing you can do this coming week to address this area?
- What support do you need?
I know how hard it could be to navigate this on your own. If I didn't get the support I needed years ago, I wouldn't be able to live a full and happy life today.
If you are struggling with stress and need support to break through old patters so you can elevate your spirit and potential, let's talk.
Book a free breakthrough session so I can get to know you and your struggles and share how my health & wellness program could support your journey.