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Stress We Can

How many times have you come into work to be met with a chorus of “I’m so stressed!”? Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, being in a constant state of stress is not normal or sustainable.

Stress wreaks havoc on your body, much like a poison. Frankly, it’s time for a detox. 

Taking on more than you can cope with- either practically or emotionally, is not a healthy nor impressive feat. Learning to regulate, taking ‘me time’ to recharge, and saying no and setting boundaries, are all green flags of a person bettering themselves from the inside out. You are valuable. In fact, you are the most valuable asset you will ever own. 

The negative effects of stress should not be underestimated. Stress, even mild, attacks your immune system and makes you much more prone to disease and studies show- even disability. Stress physically damages your heart muscles. Over a long period of time, this leads to an increased risk of heart attacks as well as high blood pressure. Stress has also been linked to cancer, lung disease, fatal accidents, suicide, and cirrhosis of the liver. 

So, what can be done? The first step is a reshuffling of priorities. Ask yourself point- blank, are you at the top of your own life priorities? If the answer is no, ask yourself why. Many mothers put their children first. But just like in the event of a plane crash, applying the oxygen mask first to yourself is the only way to then be able to apply it to those you’d like to help. You need to first do right by yourself, or watch seeds of resentment and stress grow. By rooting your feet and standing your ground, you will actually become a more powerful force of generosity for your loved ones.

Getting outside- even if you don’t feel like it- is an easy way to nudge yourself towards a more peaceful head space. Nature heals- it’s true! From a medical point of view, going for regular walks directly combats the effects of stress because it improves not only joint and muscle function- but cardiovascular function as well. Take a friend with you and share some support whilst lowering your blood pressure at the same time. 

Surrounding yourself with a supportive and accepting social circle is important too. Science tells us choosing the right friends drastically impacts our levels of anxiety and depression. Those who judge us, and shut down our true passions, are a conduit for stress, and therefore poor health.

Don’t forget that joy in life comes from the small thing. Spoiler alert- they’re not actually small at all. Seek out the delightful details in your days that made you fall in love with living once upon a memory. Follow hobbies, give and receive hugs, and undercut that inner critic by practicing positive affirmations. Self- love is hard work sometimes, but don’t worry, when you’re in alignment with what you really want, rewards come in abundance. Which brings me to the next point; 

Treat your body to earthly pleasures! (that’s right I said it) Say yes to the chocolate AND the workout. Both make you feel good! Balance is key. Learn to hear what you truly desire and respect it. Mind and body work in tandem. Your body is doing its best to take care of you, so give it the right tools for the job. Take long baths, drink herbal teas, dance, laugh at silly things, and most importantly, don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’ to be who you want to be. 

This all takes time. It is a process. Especially if you’ve been out of practice for a while- the most powerful decision you can make is to be kind and patient with yourself. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, and reflective journaling can be hugely helpful when starting new habits. Check in with yourself in this way just like you would for a close friend or family member. Commit to you today.


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Stress We Can

How many times have you come into work to be met with a chorus of “I’m so stressed!”? Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, being in a constant state of stress is not normal or sustainable.

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