There are times aren’t there, where we’ve all had our share of stressful moments? ‘We’re only human after all’. Life can be really sweet as well, where the briefest moment can make a massive impact and then it’s gone. It’s funny how the moments that bring about the discomfort come back to haunt us like a Graham Norton – I can’t believe it’s not better – track. Of course you know the adage:
it’s not what we experience
but how we handle it that really counts
There are windows where that’s far easier said than done, when a recurring problem keeps running around it’s hamster-wheel of upset – that comes right back round again and bites you on the bum – even though you thought it was done and dusted. In the aftermath you find yourself saying things like:
- why did I say that?
- why didn’t I say this?
- why do I let them speak to me like that?
- why don’t I stand up for myself more?
- how could they possibly think they can tell me how I feel?
You know it. You’ve lived it. You might be living through something similar right now. Would it make you feel better to know that there’s a really good scientific reason which is all to do with survival? It’s connected to the instinctive part of the brain that alerts you when predators are lurking, like it did when our ancestors were exposed on the African Plain.
Although you no longer have a hunting / nomadic lifestyle the limbic brain hasn’t caught up with the programme. Our basic needs have shifted in one sense but in another they still act out through the stress cycle of fight or flight.
Can you relate to these kinds of manic-stress?
Here’s the thing, how we integrate, behave and react to everything comes through the channels of what our brains have been taught to recognise to keep us safe.
And because you’re a fabulously unique individual – let’s take a moment to celebrate it – yey!!! – your stress triggers are just as unique and individual to anyone else’s. They’re like stories and arrive through:
the age we learn them
how we’re taught to frame them
how they lock onto what’s gone before
what we’ve been told
An example of this would be a phobia because phobia’s are learned during a small capsule in time. Tracking a phobia undoes the learned response which allows it to become obsolete, done and dusted.
Our beliefs and values form us into who we show up as in the world, but our stress triggers might stack against us especially where we’re conflicted over wanting one thing while being expected to do something else, such as staying in a job we’re not suited to, square-peg-round-hole-itis I like to call it.
We might stay in a job because it pays the bills. But staying in any situation or relationship that goes against our innate sense of what’s right for us will ultimately make us ill, and there’s an increasing amount of research showing the deep connection we have and a need to let go of the stress-factors we’re imposing on ourselves.
I’ve got lots of good stuff to share in this series that will move you into a more knowing place for making better choices, feeling more balanced and being in sync with yourself, so hang in there.
Life is busy, the 21st century is all about high-tech, and it’s unprecedented urgency demands ‘I want one and I want it now’ both at work and at home. It’s fast-paced and only you can take a breathe and slow it down because I know you want to feel more of those brief connected moments that make the biggest impact.
it’s important to note because our way-of-life is a massive contributor to long-term stress
Let’s look at the first of the 7-ways to break up with chronic stress chart where I asked you to look at how you treat yourself. If you haven’t got yours yet you can sign up to receive your copy here.
What stresses you out?
How do you look after yourself? Are you way down the list of priorities? Of course you are as a woman, spinning those forkin’ plates no matter whereabouts you are in the life-cycle. Trying to keep everyone happy, balance the plates and maybe wear a number of masks along the way.
Who are you trying to kid?
Find a quiet corner to run through this giving it your full attention. Ask yourself what you do to deal with or avoid the discomfort of some people or situations you find yourself in:
- at home?
- at work?
- inside your family?
- in a social setting (even when you’re there for all the best reasons)?
How close are you to one of these strategies that gets you through and helps you cope:
- pretending everything’s ‘fine’?
- hoping other people will change while you stay static?
- waiting to be appreciated, noticed, recognised?
- wishing the cravings, urges, compulsions would just stop?
- wondering if or when you’ll get promoted?
- wanting to stop the impatient outbursts and intolerance?
Now what’s your poison of choice that you use to deal with what’s going on? How do you self-soothe, is it food, shopping, sex, gambling, drinking, a.n.other, I dare you to write yours down?
How do you deal with your triggers?
- are you running to food for cover?
- do you go shopping and spend money that;s not budgeted?
- will you just open another bottle for a laugh?
- will you be heading for a porn site?
- are you going to swipe away some time on a screen of your choice?
Of course you want things to be different, you don’t even know how the pattern keeps coming round on a loop, but it does. I made an interesting discovery around drinking that helped me stop altogether, I knew I wanted to stop but enjoyed the ritual of grabbing a bottle, reaching for a glass, opening the bottle, pouring and feeling relief as I drank. And it wasn’t real!
When I discovered what motivated it, I was totally taken aback, which made it easy to stop, as I already wanted to. You can see the recording below, where making myself this vulnerable takes me out of my comfort-zone, but it feels more important to show you what it looks like so I’m putting that aside.
VIDEO – alcohol – story
Your final question for today is this:
What’s the long-term plan for handling your stress?
Because the upshot is that nothing changes until you make the committed decision to get on and do something about it to make it happen. Bummer eh!
I’ll just share that what I’ve learned over the last 15-yrs as a Stress Coach is that making the decision to get on with it is actually the hardest part and clients often say they wish they’d known and done something sooner.
This series is going to share some great information with you, because I came to these fab solutions and the accompanying information so late in my own day, having searched on and off for decades for the help I needed, I’ve walked a similar path.
I was a late starter and I’m passionate about wanting something different for you, because you owe it to yourself to pick back up with some of those pipe-dreams you may have been encouraged to put aside with child-like things – I’d like to encourage you to listen to your own heart – not what other (well-meaning folk) want for you. I’m here if you want to chat about it.
Until next time.