One EFFECTIVE strategy to reduce the impact of stress:
You cannot escape stress. Even if you work so hard at it… you just cannot escape it.
Whether it is economic change that you have no control over, aging parents or children having growing pains (again, which you have no control over) or getting injured, or your car breaking down, or… relationships not going smoothly.. or…!!!
Are you seeing the pattern?
Most stress is outside of your control, yet the reaction is strong and often, with the hope that you can control it.
In doing so, the stress increases.
Then there’s the stress you put on yourself: having expectations of yourself that are too high, negative self talk, being perfectionists, expecting others to read your mind without communicating clearly and concisely, blaming others, blaming circumstances: to name some.
STRESS AGES YOU FASTER.
IT MAKES YOU SICK.
- it causes tear down of your body tissues and systems eg. Bone for osteoporosis, collagen for skin sagging, softer and weaker muscles.
- it changes your pain threshold
- it affects your immune system (allergies, rashes, autoimmune disease and even cancer down the line
- it affects your brain: it shrinks! And your memory centre gets smaller too.
- it affects your metabolism and slows it down
- it affects your balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (fight-flight versus rest and digest)
- it affects blood pressure
- it is the leading cause of doctor visits.
Mindfulness has been shown to decrease your response to stress regardless of what is happening.
This leads to a calmer and more peaceful state.
And more balanced hormones.
Mindfulness: when you are present to everything EXCEPT your busy brain and running thoughts ????
When practising mindfulness:
LISTEN… notice the sounds, distinguish each sound, notice the ones you didn’t hear at first.
SMELL… smell the fragrances and aromas and whatever else is in the air.
SEE... see things in detail, as they are and as they are not: no judgement about whether it is pretty or out of place or ANYTHING. Just see and observe. Notice every detail. Even the spaces between what you see.
FEEL… what is against your skin, what are your feet on? Where is your body in relation to the things around you and on you?
TASTE… what’s the taste in your tongue?
In practising mindfulness, you discover being in the NOW. Not worrying about the future. Not regretting the past. You become more comfortable with WHAT IS, instead of wishing and wanting what is NOT.
You become happy. You get less anxious. You experience less stress.
And remember, stress ages you faster!
And it upsets your hormone balance which you need for healthy aging and looking younger.