Our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body.
On top of the physical stress we are already carrying, the mind can swirl up emotional stress based on the quality of our thoughts just as stressful situations can trigger a cascade of stress hormones.
By ignoring our emotions we encourage the body further into a state physical duress. Unless we take time to deal with our stress and our responses to these stressful situations our sympathetic nervous system- our fight or flight response - signals to produce more adrenaline and cortisol as a way to shift energy resources to fight off what the body feels as perceived threats. As this happens our ability to relax and feel calm and even-tempered decreases.
As we carry forward through these days with continued feelings of agitation, confusion, anger, heaviness, burden, and uncertainty it can be easy to continue in the spiral by ignoring or trying to escape these raw emotions.
Relaxation techniques like breathing awareness and iteration of positive statements like intentions are effective tools for coping with both mental and physical stress. These techniques also help to down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system by inviting hormonal balance helping your physiological systems - your muscles, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous and reproductive systems - function more efficiently.
When you have a few minutes today try sitting with me to simply breathe, release some heaviness, shed some tension and shift your mind onto positive thoughts to help you finish out your day and your week feeling lighter and in a clearer and more satisfying state of mind.