Stress Management in the New Melinium covers the causes of stress and the most common sense factors to effectively manage it!
The difference between the spelling of the words WELLNESS and ILLNESS is that one starts with WE and the other I. As a collective we must embrace the paradigm of Wellness as a state of health that we move TOWARDS. In comparison, the western paradigm of health constantly attempts to move us AWAY from disease and views illness as a result of bad germs, bad genes or bad luck!
DEFENITION OF STRESS
Stress is defined as a physical or physiological stimulus that can produce mental, emotional and/or physiological reactions that may lead to illness. Technically speaking stress is a disruption of homeostasis or balance, which may be triggered by alarming experiences whether real or imaginary.
Mental responses to stress include adaptive stress, anxiety and depression. When stress enhances function it may be considered as good stress. However, if stress persists and is of excessive degree it eventually leads to a need for resolution, which may either lead to an anxious (escape) or depressive (withdrawal) behaviour.
Stress typically activates the Sympathetic branch or your Autonomic Nervous System and the release of stress hormones known as Adrenaline, Noradrenalin, Cortisol and Cortisone. This triggers the response.
STRESS VS RELAXATION
We all recognise the effects of Sympathetic dominance or Stress; dry mouth, muscle tension, sweating, pallor, enlarged pupils and insomnia. Long term stress may lead to high blood pressure, physical and mental exhaustion, loss of hair and confidence, depression, skin rashes, headaches, irritable bowel and indigestion, low libido, heart palpitations, aggression and anger issues, decrease memory and concentration, anxiety and nervousness.
When the Parasympathetic Nervous System is dominant we are in a relaxed state and the effects of that are; better digestion, better circulation of blood to glands and organs, constricted pupils and a much faster healing capacity. It is vital to take time out from our modern lifestyle to allow for Rest and Relaxation. We are after all human BE-ings and not human Do-ings.
COMMON STRESS FACTORS
Both positive and negative stressors can lead to stress. Below are some of the most common factors that rate highly on the stress list:
- Death of a loved one; Divorce; Marital Separation; Jail term; Personal injury or illness; Getting married; Marital reconciliation; Getting fired at work; Retirement; War; Rape; being harassed; Moving house; Traffic jams; Financial crisis; Abusive or dysfunctional childhood; Aging; Insufficient sleep; Exams; Poor eating habits.
- Chemical Stressors to avoid or reduce- “CATS”
Caffeine: Coffee, Coke and Chocolates
Alcohol: Additives, Artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives
Tobacco: Tannins in Tea
Sugar: Sweeteners, Salt and Soft drinks
DEALING WITH STRESS
- Let go and let God: I know this is “easier said than done” but start by learning to accept and enjoy your life more instead of trying to control it too much.
- Reellaaaaxx… Learn to still your body and mind by regularly practicing one of the following techniques; Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Meditation, Visualisation, Deep breathing, and positive self talk. The more time you spend in Nature the more natural you become.
- Support your Spine: Make it a habit to get a variety of body work such as Chiropractic and Massage. Set some time and money aside for ME TIME! Your innate Healing Potential relies on a Sound Spine and a health Nervous System to function properly.
- Time Management: Remember “for things to change you must change!” make time to invest in your Health and learn to say NO when people or things encroach on that time.
- Condition Your Body: Aerobic exercise is the best Stress Buster around. Your body thrives on movement and getting fit ensures an abundant supply of Endorphins- your bodies’ natural feel good chemicals.
- Melt the Stress away: A hot bath with Epsom salts and 5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil is good therapy for tired and tense muscles.
- Laughter is Good Medicine: Laughter increases the circulation of the lymphatic system, boosts your immune system and increases oxygenation of your organs. It’s free and has been known to break the stress cycle.
- Words Of Wisdom-WOW: Live each day as if it’s your last, enjoy the present moment, have a deep sense of awe and wonderment, be spontaneous, follow your heart, Smile a lot, honour and love yourself, avoid judgement, strive to be happy!