“MAKE IT A DOUBLE.” What We Lean On When Stress Hits
Amazing how common that expression is and also how widely accepted. Since we were old enough to watch grown-up television shows we have been shown that a stressful event is often helped when followed by a delicious alcoholic beverage. You remember the sexy male lawyer who just lost his lawsuit or the savvy female executive who was passed up for a well-deserved promotion. Nine times out of ten, their crappy day ended up with them sitting at a bar eventually laughing with friends.
Of course, after self-medicating this way as adults we know this is more about numbing. Not helping the stress go away. But we do it anyway don’t we? Even while knowing it’s not a solution.
Well just a heads up before we go any further, this article is not whether drinking is good or bad. Nor is this article about the nonsense that cable television has feed us over the years. And please know this article is not meant to call you out on your behavior. It’s simply a discussion on vices. Human vices. What we lean on when stress hits.
WINNING VICES WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH BAD DAYS.
Put on your self-reflection hat. Let’s see if any of this hits home.
Another winning vice is eating. A vice with many sub categories such as; over eating, under eating, not eating, salt lovers, sweet lovers & spicy lovers. While these behaviors seem helpful at the time, or at the very least a distraction from stress, it almost always ends up bringing on more.
Let me give you a few examples. Over-eating often makes us feel guilty, too many calories, lack of self-control, then the guilt leads to stress. Under-eating on the other hand can contribute to poor focus and weaken problem solving abilities. This can contribute to more stress and the inability to process our emotions. Things can seem worse than they really are.
Then there is high salt consumption, over the long run this contributes to high blood pressure as you know. Stress and a bad heart not a great combo.
Sugar seems harmless right? A cookie maybe two? But these sweet little moments will put you on a moody rollercoaster and crash your energy level. There is a good chance if you aren’t stressed by your sugar benders other people around you might be.
Another favorite stress escape is sleeping.
When it’s too much to handle all those emotions flooding in it’s often easier to close y our eyes and let the bad day pass.
Being stressed, especially chronically stressed, is exhausting. Understanding anatomically what is happening sheds light on why sleeping is a common escape. Your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode) is literally firing non-stop. You are on hi alert constantly. Who wouldn’t be tired?
Many people are disciplined when it comes to food and sleep even while stressed. Does this mean they don't escape their stress?? Not necessarily. Vices come in many forms. Excessive exercise and or television binge watching can also make the list.
What brings us together as humans is none of us enjoy being uncomfortable. So we distract ourselves, most of the time on a subconscious level. Stress brings up powerful emotions many of which are undesirable like: insecurity, anger, uncertainty, sadness, envy & fear.
The big question is are we connecting with our stress? Take a moment and reflect.
What are your vices?
Do these behaviors sound familiar?
If so, “how familiar”?
Don’t let the response rattle you.
This is about self-discovery not
It’s at this point in the article a divide will occur amongst readers. Some of you are thinking “I don’t need this right now” (insert eye roll). Someone else just grabbed a pen and paper. Others have stomach aches because of guilt or shame.
Sit with your feelings regardless of what group you fell under. Don’t shut down or turn off.
CONNECTING WITH OUR STRESS IS WHAT HELPS US OVERCOME IT.
Yes, the exact thing we all want to avoid is the solution.
Do you ever think to yourself
“How come ‘so-and-so’ can handle so much
and I can’t?”
Now while I can’t say with 100% certainty, there is a good chance that person you admire processes their emotions well. It's likely they don’t push the undesirable feelings aside. Instead they work through them taking time to consider triggers and look for solutions to have this happen less.
Human to human, please keep the self-judgement to a minimum. Know our ability to process emotions is based on our own unique life experiences. We are all going to be different because we have all lived different lives. The good news is we can learn to improve in this area.
Let’s go back to that word “connection”. To connect with anything you need to acknowledge it’s there. You need to see it, feel it, and know it. Most reoccurring problems don’t go away on their own so why would our stress?
The drink, the cookie, the nap, the long run, the hours of television all ways we tend to disconnect from stress.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR STRESS
It’s the getting to know your stress part where you can take action. It’s an interesting exercise to make note of what triggers your overwhelm? Do this consciously for a few days and you many find the root of your stress is not what you think it is at all. You know as well as I do, you can't solve any problem unless you know it's root cause.
We need to present and focused to do this. Harness our self-awareness and not be afraid of what we might discover. No matter how hard or how surprising the findings are we start to see your way out.
One method to get this done is practicing yoga. Not only movement but breathing, meditation and adopting some pretty cool life philosophy’s like owning the statement “I’m perfectly imperfect”.
In case yoga felt like a big leap for you, in a
nutshell stress can cause brain fog, low
energy, physical tension & self doubt. YOGA
can help with all of that and so much more.
Perhaps I have peaked your interest in considering yoga as a stress management tool? I hope at least I have planted a seed for you to connect with your stress on your own terms the next time it happens. You deserve to have more calm days. You deserve to enjoy more of your life's moments. This is absolutely possible and I'd like that for you.
To get you started on your journey WELLOGA offers a '5 day Virtual Mini Retreat' to help you connect with your stress. The 5 Day Mini Retreat is a combination of short recorded classes, tutorials and exercises accessed with your own login and password.
You can complete these lesson on your own time when it's convenient. It takes approximately 1.5 hours a day. Your time investment gives you all your wellness needs! Learning, cooking gluten free food, exercise, breathing & meditation.
The challenge is only $37 USD to register.
Special offer so you can experience the
magic of yoga yourself.
Value estimated @ $200…might be worth
more if you have few light bulb moments!
No matter where you land today on connecting with your stress, in order to make an impact on feeling better it requires some kind of a time investment on your part. Just like when we hire someone to take work off our plates, at the beginning, it always takes more time to do the same work. But eventually we get through that part and it’s easier on the other side.
Managing stress is just like that. The person you are hiring is your inner self - I assure you they are a top notch employee and they learn quickly!
Author Certified under: Yoga Alliance, Svastha Yoga, Yoga Rocks & Naked Truth Yoga.
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