Well, don’t these things seem to come around really quickly?
I could have sworn we’ve only just celebrated stress awareness month!
But seriously, did you know this has been going since 1992?
Obviously, I know that stress has been around since way before 1992 (it is after all a completely natural response programmed into every cell in our body …)
I just really think we should be much further along by now…
It shouldn’t still be something that needs a whole month of ‘awareness’ raising.
I mean, it’s not like someone woke up this morning and discovered this thing called ‘stress’.
Like I said above, the stress response is completely natural.
Our bodies made the stress reaction on purpose as a coping mechanism.
It happens without us even thinking about it.
A lot like blinking.
& you don’t see us having national blinking day, weeks or months...
We know it happens.
We know that when it doesn’t happen things go wrong with our eyes.
No one needs to keep telling us.
Now, the difference between blinking and stress (bear with me I really do have a point…) is that we can’t ignore our eyelids going on strike whereas we seem to be very successful at ignoring all the signs we’re stressed – well until it’s too late and all the nasty complications turn up.
You know what I’m talking about – depression, anxiety, heart disease, cancer…
When we’ve successfully ignored all the stress warning signs our health quite literally takes a nose dive and then no amount of pretending can overcome what’s going on.
The thing that’s so frustrating as a health professional is that stress really isn’t difficult to deal with.
Because our bodies naturally produce all the hormones which cause us to be stressed (cortisol) all you need to do is activities which turn off stress hormone production.
Turning off cortisol is so easy.
Laughing instantly cuts off cortisol production.
Laughing is the easiest thing to do in the world.
Especially thanks to YouTube and all those cat, dog, baby, monkey… videos.
Now, just because you turn it off with laughter it does not mean it will stay off.
To keep it turned off you need to do a little more work.
You might need to go for a walk, meet with a friend, sing an uplifting song, do some painting…
Doing things that our bodies are designed to (exercise, sleep, eat healthily), or things which are a part of human nature (socialise, be creative, express yourself…) are the exact same things which help us to feel good.
It’s physically impossible to be both happy and sad at the same time.
Unfortunately, as humans we just love dwelling on all the rubbish stuff in our lives.
& when you focus on the rubbish your body reacts appropriately – it creates hormones and emotions which keep you feeling sad, angry, stressed…
Now, please don’t think I’m jumping on the ‘just think positively’ bandwagon.
If your life is crumbling around your ears no amount of wishing and wanting will ever change it.
You have to deal with whatever is going on.
You have to actively make different choices.
You have to decide to create the life you want by taking action.
But, as I’ve mentioned – these actions are not hard.
Do the things you’re supposed to in order to stay healthy & everything will fall into place naturally.
Here's to a fabulously relaxed April!
Catch you soon - Katie.
p.s. if you're not sure how to get yourself chilled at work check out our free survive your 9-5 guide full of psychological tips, tricks & hacks to help you keep your cool & get back to loving your job again:
Katie Woodland - A developmental, and holistic psychologist who specialises in educating and empowering individuals, business leaders & school teachers to remove mental health as a barrier to success.
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