Many people say that STRESS IS BAD.
Well, I want to tell you why that is BS.
We are designed for stress. Some stress motivates us and gets out of bed in the morning. The stressful times in our lives are what really make us value and appreciate the times that aren’t.
Our bodies are physically pre-programmed to respond to a threat by kicking in the stress response and giving our bodies the superpowers to FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE. To help us run away from a predator, for example, and survive. When repeated, these episodes of acute stress help to build high levels of resilience.
What is not good however, is CHRONIC STRESS. This is when the stress hormones kick in and don’t come down as there is:
This is what causes BURNOUT.
The multitude of things, situations, people and environments that are kicking off the stress response these days are no longer life-threatening. It could be something as small as an unread email, a look from another person, an impending deadline. These can all kick off the stress response, which, when it happens too frequently over extended time periods, is what ultimately leads to BURNOUT.
Did you know that 80% of doctors’ appointments are for stress-related conditions? The World Health Organisation recognises (CHRONIC) STRESS as a global epidemic. In fact, 85% of heart attacks are stress related – that’s a terrifying figure!
So what can you do?
If things feel like they’re getting on top of you, here are 5 tips you can employ in your own life to regain control:
1) BREATHE – box breathing helps you calm yourself down. Box breathing is just this. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, out for 4, pause for 4. Do at least 3 rounds and notice what’s different now.
2) Take a WALK – outside ideally – if that’s not possible just get out of your chair and take a walk around anywhere.
3) Take a FAB break – FAB = Fluid adjustment break – fluids in fluids out!
4) Have a MINDFUL moment – focus on your body and bring your attention to the sensations and what’s going on right now. Bring all your senses into the NOW.
5) SLEEP – I know you’re unlikely to be able to go to sleep right now unless you are tucked up in bed – in which case you shouldn’t be looking at your phone! But here’s the thing, if you want to stay on top of your stress the best thing you can do – by far – is to get some more sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours per night of quality sleep per night and you’ll be part of the successful few. Cut out screen time an hour before going to bed and allow yourself extra time to fall asleep to ensure you are getting close if not more than 8 hours.
Join my THRIVE TRIBE if you’d like more tips on living your best life.