4 WAYS TO DIAL DOWN
Back in the day stress was our best friend, if we were being chased by a tiger, our body would sense danger and our mate stress would come to the rescue and release a cocktail of hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) which gives us the energy to either fight or get the hell out of there.
He would have most likely saved us from becoming the big cats lunch!
Nowadays the beasts chasing us are toxic relationships, deadlines, traffic jams, mortgages, kids and poor lifestyle choices. Our bestie no longer steps in on occasion to save our life before retreating back to his home to wait for his next call of duty, he has now set up permanent camp on the frontline preparing for battle, and is pumping out more cortisol and adrenaline than our body knows what to do with.
Now stress is not the bad guy, he is just doing his job and trying to keep us safe from danger. and we need a healthy level of 'stress' to help us stay motivated, happy and achieve our goals. However us humans are not designed to be under constant stress and when we spend too much time in the Red Zone and not enough in the Green Zone, shit starts to go wrong!
So what do we do? Stress is a part of life, it's pretty much unavoidable and lets be frank - we can't all go and lock ourselves away in a Tibetan monastery for the rest of our lives, where's the fun in that?
The solution here is about learning to adapt and cope with stress in a healthy way.
1. Address your stress
As with anything in life awareness is always the first step, we can't fix what we don't know about right? So many of us are flying through our day on autopilot in a constant state of stress, and most of us have no idea that we are chronically stressed or the things that are triggering our stress response each and everyday.
I suggest you conduct a stress audit, list all of the things that cause you stress in your life, including relationships, your job, the food you eat, the toxins in your home etc. Once you have completed your list, identify the ones that cause you the most angst then take steps to eliminate the stressors that you can control and limit your exposure to those you can't eliminate.
2. Flip it
Stress is subjective, what stresses one person out may be the driver that motivates another.
Your perception of stress has the same physiological effect on your body as actual stress does. Your body can't tell if you are really in danger, or if you are just stressing about a work deadline. Whenever it perceives 'danger' it will activate the same fight or flight or stress response as if you were running from the tiger. This perception adds to your stress bucket and puts you in the Red Zone.
I challenge you to flip your perceptions of stress in your life and embrace life's set backs as a challenge and opportunity for growth. You will be astounded at the power we can unleash when we commit to changing our relationship with stress and perceived stressors in our life.
3. Goto Vagus baby
Nope, I'm not talking the party town full of casinos and strippers. I am talking about the the vagus nerve which is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, the vagus nerve helps control anxiety, depression and the release of your feel good hormones such as oxytocin.
When you activate the vagus nerve you counteract the fight or flight response and put your body in the
So how do you get to vagus baby? It's so freaking simple and it's free - diaphragmatic breathing.
Sit comfortably and place your hands on your lower abdomen under your navel.
Take a deep slow breath in through the nose for five counts
Feel your lower abdomen expand like a balloon as you inhale
Softly hold the breath for four counts
Then slowly exhale through the nose for ten counts
Feel your belly flatten as you exhale, and repeat
Viola you have reached party town!
I highly recommend you incorporate going to vagus as a daily ritual, I set a reminder in my phone 3 times a day - trust me hun, your nervous system will thank you for it.
Essential oils have an AH-mazing ability to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm in literally minutes.
The aroma of these beautiful plant extracts directly affects your emotions and can change your response to stress. They help to calm your nervous system so that you can regain your composure, focus and clarity as well as boost your energy and vitality.
I use them every single day in my diffuser, in the bath, in my food and applied topically. Rosemary oil has been proven to reduce cortisol in minutes just by sniffing it,