Tick Toc, Tick Toc time’s wasting. Hurry up and I don’t have the time are the slogans of the day. No matter how hard we try we cannot escape the ticking of the clock of life. Harried and stressed are two descriptor words for just about anyone with a pulse in 2013.
The physiological reaction to stress is known as our flight or fight response and is hardwired into all of us to protect us. While we aren’t running from dinosaurs, hiding from caveman and club, or pioneering the wild west we are facing more stress than ever in this concrete jungle in which we live our lives.
It’s all we can do not to have panic attacks when we open our checkbooks, try to build our mailing lists, keep up with changing trends in technology, figure out the how-to’s of business building, or RUN OUR BUSINESSES in general. Suffice to say the stress factor in all aspects of life has never been more prevalent. These are the types of stress that impact our bodies every single day.
When you perceive a threat (which equals stress)— such as an unexpected stranger bumping into you when you turn the corner a part of your brain sets off an alarm system in your body. Your system prompts your adrenal glands, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. With your adrenaline up it increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001
When we worry about deadlines, money, job security, relationships, etc. this also triggers the same effect to our bodies. Living with constant stress can manifest in the body in many ways some of which may include:
- hair loss
- heart disease
- obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder
- sexual dysfunction
Whew, sounds ominous huh? Well, luckily I am now going to tell you a secret. You have all it takes to deal with stress and it doesn’t come in a pill, you can’t buy it on an infomercial, it’s not sold anywhere, and it’s free. Just as Dorothy realized the only place the answer ever was for her was within her you too will soon begin to realize, if you chose to, that your answers for a stress-less life are in YOU.
Here are a few ideas to begin to live a stress-LESS life TODAY.
Embrace the outdoors
Nature is therapeutic. It connects us to the simple gifts that we all too often overlook, as well as to Spirit. If you are feeling stressed and frustrated, imagine taking a walk through the woods. Envision a flowing brook. Capture the smell of wildflowers and honeysuckle in your mind. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Use all of your senses in your visions. Consider creating the simplest of gardens. The experience can release the stress accumulated in your head, neck and shoulders after a long day.
LOL (Laugh out loud)
Are you too busy to laugh and too serious to smile? Laughing releases a mountain of tension. It’s a quick way to feel happy. When you let go and laugh, it’s infectious. Everyone around you feels it. A good belly laugh makes your belly muscles contract. It causes a chain reaction that works out the shoulders, and leaves muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
Start a practice of sitting with your Higher Power and asking for a quiet mind. Start your day off with a ritual of reflection and praise. At the office, shut your door for 10 minutes, close your eyes and simply be still. It will be hard at first, but after a few days, you will find yourself feeling calmer and happier than you have felt in a long time. Take time to recharge during your day!
Appreciate all the simple things in your life: the sunshine, the sky, the shoes on your feet and the heart beating in your chest. Being grateful creates an energy that flows through your body and shines through your eyes. It’s what makes happy happen. Create a gratitude calendar that is full of simple reason you’re grateful.
Create a simplicity statement
Write down your own personal declaration of what a simple life means to you. For you it may mean spending quality time with people you love, and doing the things you love. It could mean getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only what really matters to you.