Life sometimes has a tendency to throw all sorts of stuff at us. Some days, the roller coaster is going up and it feels good. Other times, it feels as if it’s a slow trickle of unfortunate incidents and then there are those days that leave you in shock, almost uncertain of what just happened.
We need a certain amount of stress in order to feel alive. Stress can be a positive thing - we feel stress when we’re excited and our pulse quickens. This kind of stress makes us feel vibrant and engaged. The stress that occurs when things are going wrong, the knot in the stomach, nausea inducing variety is not so good, especially when it is sustained over a period of time.
This month is stress awareness month but this is something that should be talked about all year round, especially if you experience it or live with someone who does. Sharing our stories and sharing how we manage stress is incredibly important. Similarly facing the source of the stress head on and not ignoring it is equally important We may not want to acknowledge what is going on but our bodies see the reason(s) for the stress as a threat. If we can acknowledge this and look at the situation in a different way, we’re on the road to dealing with it. Easier said than done but if you perceive something as a challenge instead of a threat, the fear you're experiencing might turn into something else and the problem seems easier to tackle.
Lastly, it’s really important to be self aware of when you know you’re experiencing stress and to take extra care at this time. Extra care to eat healthily, extra care to exercise and get fresh air and extra care to do the things that you love doing. Self care can often be the first thing that goes out the window when we're under pressure at work or at home as it can be seen as time consuming or self indulgent. This, however, should be the absolute priority when we're in this state of mind. Whether that’s running, walking with friends or singing Meatloaf in a karaoke booth at the top of voice, don't stop doing the things you love for that's when the positive 'I'm alive' stress kicks in. The good stuff that makes it all worthwhile.