Does it feel like life is getting busier? Would you like to push the pause button and create more calm in your life?
When I talk to my clients, they tell me that they feel like they have to do more in less time.
More work, more responsibility, more pressure. We rarely get the chance to slow down and feel at peace.
Our bodies weren’t designed to cope with this constant pressure.
This stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed, impatient and less able to cope effectively. Maybe you find yourself honking your horn more often, stress eating or arguing with your partner over things that don’t really matter.
We’ve all been there.
I know from personal experience that stress not only affects our mental health, it also affects our physical health.
Having worked in medical settings, I have also seen the consequence of stress first hand.
I wish I had know this many years ago: Stress makes us sick
80% of medical visits are for stress related issues, like aches and pains, lowered immunity and high blood pressure.
Yet you have the power to create calm with simple practices that can move you from a stressed state to a peaceful and relaxed state.
You see, when we are stressed, that primitive “fight or flight” mechanism gets turned on. Back in the day when we needed to protect ourselves from predators, this kept us safe.
Nowadays, this mechanism kicks in when we think we are in danger.
In today’s modern jungle, we’re not being chased by tigers, but we are being chased by our negative thoughts, emotions, worries and fears.
When this happens, the same primitive response kicks in, and the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. Our heart rate quickens and our muscles tense, getting us ready to run or fight.
If we are stuck in traffic and late for a meeting- or when we get hit with a late fee on or credit card for the tenth time- we can’t do either, and our natural alarm system gets stuck in the on position. And that has dire consequences for our health.
The good news is that we have the ability to shift our bodies from the flight or fight response to the exact opposite state – rest and digest – otherwise known as the relaxation response.
But in order to make this shift, we have to do something that activates the relaxation response.
Here are three practices that you can use to engage the relaxation response and create more calm in your life:
These practices help to calm the mind and relax the body, helping you to manage your stress so that you can maintain your health and happiness.
These practices should be done consistently in order to reap the benefits. Without your health, you don’t have much. Finding the time to fit these practices in to your daily lifestyle is well worth it. Think of it as preventative medicine for your mind and body.