Balancing Your Stress Response
Stress has become a term that is so overused that it has lost some of its impact.
We've become desensitized to what the word stress really indicates - which is disappointing because stress has such a huge impact on our health.
I almost want to come up with a new word for it! If we take a step back from the exaggerated overuse of the word, we recognize that stress is a mismatch between our capacity to handle a situation and the intensity of that situation. We are having trouble balancing our stress response.
When we are ‘stressed,' it is a crisis for our body, and we begin to sacrifice long-term processes for short-term survival.
This can happen at an emotional, physical, or nutritional level.
How does Stress show up in our body?
- Poor mental health - anxiety, depression, feelings of overwhelm, lack of motivation or on the opposite end, wired and tired.
- Poor sleep - a hard time falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much, not feeling rested even when getting 8-9 hours of sleep.
- Overeating or binging patterns with food
- Fatigue and malaise
- Cognitive decline
When we see these symptoms start to show up in our lives, it means that our body is experiencing the physical manifestation of the inner feelings that we may associate with being "stressed out."
In a nutshell, when our nervous system becomes dysregulated, we lose our resilience and our non-essential processes begin to break down.
So how can you begin to balance your stress response system?
Meditation. I am not talking about sitting for an hour with legs crossed and chanting an ancient Hindu mantra. If you are into that, great! But if like most of us it feels hard to find 10 minutes, I am here to tell you that you can find it and if you do, you will save time in your day due to the increased mental clarity and efficiency that you will gain.
You might even start sleeping better at night!
The solution that finally worked for me was an app called Headspace. This week, try the Headspace 10 for 10 pack and see if Andy can’t teach you how to meditate and allow you to experience why you need to do it. All it takes is just 10 minutes each day!