by Ultimate Spark! Coach Jeff Berkowitz
You know what’s funny, I sat down to start writing about stress and all of a sudden a knot started to form in the back of my neck, a pounding head ache began to arise, my jaw tensed up and I lost all cognitive function of what I wanted to write about. I felt as if the words that I wanted to write were on the side of my head but I required them to be in the front of my head so that I could write them… but they just wouldn’t move, my mind even began to drift thinking about everything I have to do later and how crucial it is that I write this.
BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE…. HOLD IT AND RELEASE…
These were the words I said to myself over and over until I was able to clear my mind enough to start writing. Do you know why I was experiencing this..?
If your answer was stress then you would be absolutely correct.
Stress in its simplest definition is the body’s response to a threat or external stimulant in an attempt to protect itself. My physical body and my mental cognitive function felt the biomechanical feedback of what occurs when stress occurs.
When stress occurs the amygdala in our brains sends a signal to other areas of our brains that triggers a response throughout the rest of our brains that says something is wrong. Part of this signal causes the adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol, when cortisol is released it sends a signal back to the hypothalamus, which can cause memory issues but also allows the body to recognize the response for future events, this is also the same hormone that is released from insulin spike in the blood after eating surgery foods, thus leading to weight gain.
HOW TO COMBAT STRESS
In the situation stated above the stimulant that impacted my bodies response is in relation to events that occurred much earlier in life dating back to childhood experiences in school and not feeling smart enough or good enough to write an article of such importance. What was required of me was to recognize that this was in fact what was happening and allow those feelings to surface so that feel the emotion all the way through and by the breathing deeply allowed me to slow down my thought process and release the negative emotions to re-focus my attention.
Deep breaths, meditation, exercise and change in diet are all different examples on ways to combat the way our bodies and our minds react to stress. The more often these techniques are applied the more resilient we become.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT
In today’s high paced world filled with poor diets, sedentary lifestyles, economical strain and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic more and more people are feeling the negative impacts of stress than ever before. The effects that stress can barre on both the mind and body can be devastating when they are not recognized and dealt with. Once you have the ability to recognize what is occurring you, the feelings that are associated with stress can come to the surface, be felt, addressed and released as if they were never a problem to begin with.
How we view the world and how we react to it is a choice that we make individually, thus it is also our choice on how to stay within our power to not be dominated and controlled by the outside stimulants in the world. Stressors are all around us, take the time to focus inwards and recognize what is happening and ask yourself, what is it that I am feeling right now… acknowledge it and focus on the solution rather that the problem. The more times you do this then each situation that comes up will be less and less impactful on your health and everyday life.