Did you know that stress is a normal physical response to events which threaten or upset us? It’s the reaction to what we perceive as danger, (real or imagined) and it's how the body prepares to defenced us. This response is a rapid and automatic process and it's known as 'fight, flight or freeze'. Stress is a necessary part of our life as it helps us to focus, provides us with energy, makes us alert, enhances our creativity, and it's the crucial component for our ‘survival’ instinct. However, stress can be harmful when it becomes overwhelming and ongoing, or what is called 'chronic stress'.
The body reacts to stress in the following way :
• Chemicals, such as adrenalin start pumping
• Heart rate goes up
• Blood vessels dilate
• Breathing increases
• Sweat production increases
• Metabolism slows down
• Muscles become tense
• Pupils enlarge
• Sex hormone production goes down
• Cortisol levels go up
So image feeling stressed all the time, (chronic stress) and keeping in mind how the body reacts to stress what do you think would be the impact on your physical and psychological health over time? Now take a moment and think...How much stress do you have in your life? Is it constant? What causes you stress? What do you do to de-stress? How can you release the burden of of what causes you stress to gain more energy, focus and improve the quality of your life?
Below is a story which may assist with your reflection…
‘A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience,raised a glass of water and asked "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. " "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden." "So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.Whatever burdens you're carrying now,let them down for a moment if you can." '
And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:
‘Accept that some days you're the pigeon,and some days you're the statue. Always keep your words soft and sweet,just in case you have to eat them. Always read stuff that will make you look good in case you die in the middle of it. Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again,it was probably worth it. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply being kind to others. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time,because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
The second mouse gets the cheese.
When everything's coming your way,you're in the wrong lane.
Birthdays are good for you.The more you have, the longer you live.
You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
So my friends put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while. Life is short. Enjoy it!’