Stress… it has a way of sneaking up on us.
As we knowingly or sometimes unknowingly add more and more to our plate until our schedule is full, rushing from one task to another, being over contacted via variable means such as text message, email, social media, phone. The constant overstimulation of our senses, loud noises, bright colours, constant chatter, kid’s questions, constant self-doubt, comparison, criticism and a never ending “to do” list has all become our day to day reality. The accumulation of the above sends signals to our body that “we are not safe” and so our body corresponds by realising our stress hormones in an attempt to “get us out of the situation in a quick manner, thus saving our life”, however unlike our ancient ancestors our stress response isn’t usually due to acute stress of being chased by a scary deadly animal or the threat of going into a famine.
Today, in the modern world, our stress response builds up day after day from daily activities & “unsafe” thoughts which leads to what we call “chronic stress”.
When our individual stress bucket starts to overflow, we find ourselves completely and utterly overwhelmed. We get caught in the cycle and it can be difficult to find a way out.… until our mind and body “crash”, giving us that ultimate wakeup call that enough is enough.
Our body has this innate intelligence that is constantly working for us, giving us signals that something is out of balance.
The signs may start as subtle symptoms of indigestion, bloating, stomach upset, brain fog, headaches, fatigue, skin break outs, hormonal imbalances just to name a few, yet in most instances we ignore what our body is telling us and carry on living in this modern stress cycle.
Forms of “Stress” that our body recognises as “danger”:
1. Acute stress from a life-threatening situation
2. Perceived pressure – work, family life, business etc.
3. Caffeine (simulates a stress response in our body)
4. The feeling of urgency – needing to get them “to do list” completed daily
5. Intense exercise
6. Negative thought patterns and worrying about what other people think of you
7. Financial situations
8. Time pressure and juggling to many things
This chronic state of stress puts pressure on our stress hormones which start over firing or under delivering creating havoc in our body leading to more and more signs and symptoms (Our bodies way of communicating to us that we need to take notice and control of what is going on). We then start to feel “not right” or “not ourselves”, our energy is completely depleted and we “snap” at the slightest inconvenience such as spilling the milk on the kitchen floor. The constant chatter in the mind gets louder and louder.
The negative self-talk creeps in as we are finding it hard to keep up with our day to day life and we constantly ask ourselves “what is wrong with me” or “why can’t I get my Shit together!” … The truth is nothing is “wrong” with YOU, you have just fell victim to the vicious cycle of stress, anxiety and overwhelm. The emotions you are feeling are NOT you, they are part of the cycle which you can get out of.
Emotions are just energy in motion, all energy moves & those emotions will too. We do however need to do the work to move them and break the cycle when we catch ourselves in it. Better yet prevent ourselves getting caught up in the stress – anxiety – overwhelm cycle.
I was trapped in this cycle only two weeks ago. The more I added to my plate the more overwhelmed I felt, the more I let go of the things that actually keep me in my balanced state – Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda routine, sleep.
Its times like this when we need our routine, health, physical movement that nourishes the body, meditation to quiet the mind & sleep to rejuvenate our mind~body. The irony is the busier we get the less we prioritise the things that are important for our mind and body to function well.
It often ends in some sort of dis-ease within the body & a feeling as if we can’t keep going the way we are which gives us a wakeup call to come back “home”, to our natural balanced state of being. To get present and real with what is going on. To uncover the layers that lead us to this point and accept where we are at but strive to move forward towards mind~body liberation.
This is where Ayurveda has immensely helped me.
As I mentioned I recently I fell victim to the cycle until I found myself crying on the bedroom floor, I had got so caught up in life that I neglected to stick to my Ayurvedic routine which for my mind-body type (dosha) is crucial in making me feel grounded and settled.
The more stressed and consumed I got with the multiple commitments I had, the more I let go of the very things that help me combat the stress because honestly, I felt too “busy” & overwhelmed to fit it in… but at what expense? For me it was the expense of my health and mental clarity. The bottom line is that I DID NOT prioritise my health.
Without a healthy mind and body your life, business, family commitments simply won’t flourish. YOU are serving NO-ONE, in particularly yourself if you do not look after your mind body health and fill up your Ojas (vitality) and joy cup. When we over commit, we are acting from the ego self instead of tapping into our innate intelligence (tejas) that our mind~body is made of.
One of the most settling things to harness stress is to actually stick to a routine, the mind-body loves this as it makes it feel “safe” and nurtured.
You can create any routine that you know will nourish your mind-body, however here is a simple Ayurvedic routine to get you started: (commit to doing this for 2 weeks and see how you feel… remember YOU need to PRIORITISE yourself!).
1. On waking scrap tongue with a tongue scrapper to removed residual ama (toxins) & wash your face
2. Sit in a quiet space for 5-10 minutes with your eyes closed, let any thoughts that float into your mind float straight back out (any important thought will be remembered later in the day).
3. Journal for 5 minutes with these three statements; 1. Today I am grateful for?… 2. Today I will focus on… & 3. Today I will release…
4. Herbal non-caffeinated tea
5. Move your body in a nourishing way – Walk, yoga, Pilates (if you have been under high stress mode avoid intense exercise as this will only produce more stress hormones that will exacerbate the symptoms and hold onto fluid and weight).
6. Before your shower each morning and evening: Dry brush skin to stimulate lymphatic flow, practice self abhyanga (massage) with nourishing oil for your dosha (mind_body type). Wash the oil off in shower. Abhyanga has proven to increase longevity and stimulate lymphatic flow and toxin removal (stress hormone removal).
7. 10-minute mediation every evening before bed (just like you did in point 2 or lay on your back with your legs up the wall, this helps to regulate hormones).
8. Catch yourself when you get in negative self-talk and reframe the thought to one that is more uplifting… this takes practice but is well worth it!!!
One of the ultimate ways to rejuvenate the mind~body~soul is to take time out for yourself, without any distractions, relax and unwind. In saying this, I would love to invite you to the SOUL VIBES & REVIVE RETREAT in Ubud, Bali!
If you have been feeling or have the tendency to feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed then this little get away is exactly what you need.
You will immerse yourself in rejuvenating daily cleansing rituals, yoga, Ayurveda workshops, detoxifying massage and treatments (in an award-winning spa), soul vibes, healing foods and deep soulful connection.
Save $300 when you book before January 31st2020.
For more information and tickets please go to my website www.HarmonyInspiredHealth.com.au