Advantages and disadvantages of stress
Stress helps us to learn, to grow, to stretch our capabilities and tolerance for Life’s challenges. It helps us hustle when we have to, and learn that we CAN meet and conquer adversity. That builds confidence, as well as the thing we call resilience – a collection of positive, learned and internalized abilities.
But when ‘Stress’ becomes your everyday traveling companion, your nervous system and your health and well-being take a beating.
The body's response to stress
Our bodies are designed to weather stressors by rising to the occasion physically; elevating all sorts of biological features in readiness for whatever Life throws at us. Our bodies have a built-in response, throwing us into high gear. We suddenly have a hyper-awareness and intake of sensory detail. Our eyes ‘open’ widely, pupils dilate, to see more comprehensively. Our blood flow is re-directed, readying our body to take flight or fight if it must, and temporarily suppressing activities such as digestion and executive function thinking. It is an innate biological preparation for survival - a part of our amazing Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).
The different sides of the nervous system
We are not designed to live Life on high-alert.
The effects of chronic stress
Something out there makes something in here ….go off…feel off…bad.
How to counter chronic stress
How to ensure that kind of sympathetic dominance stuck WON'T stick?
How do we do that?
- First, try some Emotional First-Aid: physical breathing and movement strategies to release stress. You can find a great many of these on our Humanitarian Committee website: www.R4R.support
- Second, Practice some of your favorites that you find there; just try a few and choose the ones that easily and quickly make you feel soothed, calmed or restored. Once you’ve identified those, the key is to practice them until they’re a part of your everyday living toolbox. Make yourself a promise to develop new, better habits by using them, every day, whenever something you don’t like pops up.
- Third, Do it. As soon as you can, apply your favorite strategy to the upset. Once you are more soothed and grounded, you’ll easily tune into your more resourceful state. Reinforce your good decision! An example: "Hey! I feel so much better, now. I’m glad I took 2 minutes to do that!"
- Fourth, when you’re able, apply some more comprehensive resources, like EFT Tapping, to further sort through and resolve both the current issue and its inevitable connections to earlier events in your life that felt the same way.