Managing Stress

I recently went through a period of very heavy stress. What I noticed was how difficult it was to turn off my body’s stress response. My body had registered “CRISIS!” and even just thinking about my to-do list and the time needed to get everything done was overwhelming. I began feeling like I was getting an ulcer as a consequence of continually feeling this heavy stress, and overwhelm.

When stress is constant like this, acid levels in the stomach tend to be high due to the adrenaline related fight or flight response. The stomach becomes more sensitive, and then right on the heels of stress arrives poor eating habits. Because of time constraints – real or imagined, we start skipping meals, drinking too much coffee, eating fast food and overindulging in sweets. This just digs us in deeper, causes more damage and makes it harder to recover by creating more nutrient deficiencies. During times of stress like this, it’s actually better to do the opposite of what you think you want in that moment. What I mean is this: You think, Oh, I could really use a coffee right now. But resist the urge, and instead have a glass of purified water, or fire up your juicer and make some celery, cucumber and wheatgrass juice. Make the choice to take care of yourself. Eat really healthy food and rest as often as you can. Our bodies have an innate ability to heal, we just need to get out of our way.

Our bodies are designed to handle short-term threats (like being attacked by a saber-tooth tiger), which in our world usually means some kind of crisis. But to stay in this high stress state wears us out both mentally and physically. When we go into high stress – or crisis mode, our adrenal glands release hormones including adrenaline and cortisol to temporarily increase our energy. But this occurs at the expense of other functions that aren’t needed at that moment for our immediate survival. Excess adrenaline increases our heart rate and elevates our blood pressure in order to increase our energy — so we can flee the danger, or turn to fight it. But if we stay in this state day after day, week after week, too much adrenaline becomes corrosive to the body and literally eats away at us. Not to mention, this kind of stress depletes the body of specific nutrients.

Think of the adrenal glands as our shock absorbers, and when they get exhausted we no longer have the reserves we need, and become less resilient to life’s bumps along the way.

During this time, I discovered that the more frequently my fight or flight response was activated, the easier it was for it to be activated again. It seemed to take less to activate it, and each time the response was more intense. Interestingly, the more overwhelmed and panicky I felt, the more things went wrong.

One day I was rushing to get everything done and left my purse in my car. When I returned later, I discovered my purse had been stolen. I had to teach a class that afternoon, I didn’t have keys to my house, and I had to start calling the bank to cancel all my cards. The more I felt I couldn’t handle my situation and inwardly began spiraling out of control, the more things would go wrong.

Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.
~Sonia Ricotti

I realized a change of perspective was needed – a new approach. I thought of my uncle, and how he would always say that if we all put our problems in the middle of the table, we would end up taking our own back. Our problems are part of our spiritual purpose – what we came here to do in order to learn and grow. How many people have thought that they just can’t handle things that are happening in their lives, and have descended into complaining that life just isn’t fair? But the truth is, our purpose here is to grow, and we can’t grow in comfort.

What is needed is for us to step outside of our comfort zone, change our perception and change our approach. Instead of running away from our problems or wishing they would magically disappear, we can transform them and approach them differently. We tend to over-think things, when a much better approach would be to change our strategy and break our patterned response. The best way to achieve that is to go do something else in order to interrupt the pattern. Some ideas might be to listen to beautiful music, go for a walk in nature, do some yoga, go for tea with a friend or whatever works to get yourself out of that gerbil-on-a-wheel problem thinking – that goes nowhere. I realized that if I pay attention, I have the ability to observe my thoughts, feelings and emotions from a separate place, and not get caught up in them.

As soon as I did that I got a call from a parking attendant who said she had found my purse – now a month after it had gone missing. Whoever had stolen it had dropped it in a parking lot. It made me realize that when we are so caught up in our thoughts, moods or fears, we don’t see that everything we need is right in front of us.

In order to heal my body, I started to rest more and get my focus back on proper nourishment. I stopped drinking caffeinated beverages in the morning, and started making fresh wheatgrass, celery and cucumber juice instead. I love fruit, and so I made delicious fruit smoothies. And also used my PEMF mat to help reduce my stress levels, improve microcirculation and enhance nutrient absorption in my body. To learn more about PEMF visit: http://arawiseman.com/pemf/ I also started taking specific supplements to heal my body and support my adrenals.

I ended up going to see an energy healer. During the session, I realized I needed to cut the energetic cords or unhealthy patterns of attachment that existed between me, and others in my life. We actually form energetic cords that link us with the people in our life, and these cords contain all the patterns and dynamics of that relationship. When the cord between two people is healthy, it can create feelings of wellbeing and you feel energized, but when the cord is unhealthy, it can often lead to feeling energetically drained, and/or overwhelmed. If you feel drained after being around someone in your life, and it’s negatively affecting you, it could be an unhealthy attachment that is not in alignment with your highest good.

Ask yourself: “Where is my energy flowing, and where it is being drained?” If you feel low in energy after being around someone in your life, they may be unaware that they are draining your energy.

During the session with the energy healer, I was cutting one of those cords, I found there were strands too tough to cut with scissors and I had to use pliers. That’s how deep the attachment was. But I got it done. After that session I felt more at peace in my body. The second time I went, I felt energy and light spiraling in, and weaving back into my body and heart.

I also consciously infused myself with love and joy. I realized then that we have the power to choose how we feel. We can either react to a situation from one of our negative emotions, or we can choose to respond from a place of self love and balance. No other person has the power to control our feelings.

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