April has been Stress Awareness month & here are five take aways as we move out of the month.
1) Stress is a natural response. It's here to keep us safe, however our brain's are a bit simple and can't tell between a lion coming to get you & an arsy email. It's also an internal reaction - it's our reaction to events.
2) Knowing that stress is an internal response can be a game changer! We get to choose how we react to situations - how empowering is that?
3) Knowing how to experience emotions is key in becoming aware of our stress levels. When we're able to name our emotions, we acknowledge them and take away their power over them. Instead of sitting and stewing, why not try contemplating what emotion is showing up. Are you frustrated? Are you sad? Angry? When you've named the emotion, you can either leave it there or you can explore why that emotion is showing up.
Emotions last typically 90 seconds from a chemical point of view. We can make them last longer by following them and allowing them to stew. But the don't have to last longer than they need to.
4) As stress is a physiological response, we need techniques to help our bodies come out of the 'fight or flight' response (our stress response). Breathwork techniques, like box breathing are brilliant for helping your body to settle back into your 'rest & digest' response - where we're calmer.
5) If you don't know how to manage your response to stress, get help. This might be coming to a meditation class, booking in a one to one meditation session to learn some techniques & get help putting a plan together, popping a coaching session in the diary or if you're really struggling with stress getting in touch with your GP. Stress isn't something to be ignored (trust me!) so if you're struggling - your GP is your friend.
What's your best tip for dealing with stress?