HOW CAN I LOWER MY STRESS LEVELS?
Today we live in a world that has thrown us a myriad challenges from the never-ending drought to fire licking at our front door. And now the formidable Coronavirus.
The toll that this is taking on the community is profound. Stress is now presenting our society with a health crisis around the world. Anxiety, fear, depression are all words that we can relate to. But what can you do in the current environment of being self- isolated to lower stress levels?
Usually this column presents the opportunity to talk about the benefits of massage or how to get the best look from your lashes. Today it is far more important that we are talking about our mental health.
Our hair and beauty salon is closed due to the coronavirus and we are here for our clients and the community to offer some techniques to help promote some calm and peacefulness to hopefully ease the burden we’re all currently living with.
Whenever your body is under pressure the very first thing that we must focus on is to ensure that our body has a plentiful supply of water and a heathy diet including exercise.
Before we even look at the triggers associated with stress management me must give our body nourishment; fuel for the fight so to speak. Without this one crucial step our ability to impact stress will be futile.
This is the most overlooked step as when many people are deeply worried, they do not feel like eating, so start drinking more water. Try to find a way to get your body moving, which could be just going for a walk down the street and when you come home eat healthy food. You have just put your body into a cycle to assist in removing toxins which is ultra important.
Whilst trying to help people with anxiety or stress I find that some of the most stressed people can’t identify that they’re even struggling with it. The walls go up so to speak. However, the skin being the largest organ in the body, reflects your internal health. When something is wrong on the inside it is quite often identified through your skin. It is quite easy to analyse a person’s skin to see where they are holding stress.
To live without stress is like waking up from a peaceful night’s sleep and looking at a beautiful clear lake. No thought of your finances, your family or job, your health.
This doesn’t mean that they’re not important, just not sparking an emotional response which creates drama and intensity, adding to the issue.
Find a safe zone
This might be in an area of your garden or a section of your house. Prior to self- isolation it might be sitting down at the beach or river. At this stage try not to think about anything specific but try to lower your own energy or the intensity that has escalated due to your situation.
Slow you breathing down, in through your nose and out through your mouth. It may also help to close your eyes. This level of worry or emotional response to stimuli is the core problem. The reaction of worry caused by traumatic events can be more troublesome than the traumatic event itself. A calm mind will always bring the best outcome from a difficult situation. Once your eyes are closed picture sitting at the beach looking at the ocean and focus on your breathing. This combination is where you find just how powerful you are.
Be Grateful For What You Have
In times of difficulty it is very easy to have problematic thinking where you’re eternally focussed on what is broken in our lives, what might be, instead of taking the time to realise what is right and good.
If we relentlessly pursue the damage in our lives it will only lead to more carnage. A mindset that is grateful for the beautiful things in your life will bring more beauty. Worry is counter- productive and serves us no benefit. It only limits and slows a positive outcome.
Identify the worry in yourself and take steps to reduce it before even looking at how to manage the difficulties of the moment. The glass is either half full or half empty. This is the choice you have when dealing with stress. Make the conscious decision that the glass is half full. It doesn’t matter how much the glass is shaken the cream will always rise back to the top!
This is a concept I use everyday and is one of the most potent ways of dealing with stress. In your nose are some of the most remarkable cells in the body. These cells are the only nerve cells that can reproduce which is assisting doctors right now to help people walk again. The research is ongoing, but the initial signs are very promising. Imagine the benefit that this may bring to people suffering with spinal related injuries.
The other amazing point to note is that these cells are linked via the limbic lobe to your long- term memory and can influence your hormone levels which in turn can lower blood pressure. Put simply what you smell will influences your behaviour.
Can you remember a time when you have smelt something that has reminded you of your childhood? It could be you mother cooking a cake or scones. Your mind is incredibly powerful and will remember but what you don’t realise is at the specific time you remember the smell, your blood pressure has just lowered and you have chemically changed the hormone levels in your body, reducing stress. This is a direct passage or link to your subconscious mind.
One of the best ways to use the process of olfaction is with incense or essential oils. The beautiful thing about essential oils is that you can make combinations that will assist the body with different issues, like insomnia, stress, arthritis just to name a few.
This theory can be used with great effect with children although caution should be taken with children under 6 years of age and not to be used when pregnant. In this circumstance I would resort to cooking something that will create a pleasing aroma through the house.
Recently I was taking my child to school there was another young child with a teacher having a panic attack. The child was not able to walk in the front door of the school. I asked the teacher if I could try to help the child and she agreed. In my bag I had made up a blend of anti-stress essentials for my own son so I asked him if I could borrow it for the other panicked boy. I dabbed the essential oil on his temples and under his nose. The combination of slowing his breathing was enough to calm the child and he was able to walk into the school.
Essential Oils should be used on the soles of the feet, solar plexus, behind the ears, under the nose. Oils are also absorbed into the skin for up to 24 hours depending on the oils.
In the terms of relaxation, the muscles can’t fully relax until there is a change of temperature. Having a shower or bath helps muscles to relax and is a great way to reduce stress.
Appeal to the Senses
The senses are a direct pathway to the subconscious mind. If you wake up to see flowers you’d picked from the garden yesterday, smell their perfume, put on some relaxing music, and make a cup of tea, you will lower your stress levels. Imagine for one moment the opposite of this – starting a day with stress is not good!
This is truly an indescribable time for us and although we can’t change the problems associated with the coronavirus, we can manage the way we deal with the stress of it. Remember that a calm mind will produce the most positive outcome. It’s how you deal the problems in your life that matters. Issues will come and go but your approach to managing life’s challenges will stay with you – The cream always rises to the top!
Although Cherrys at Tinonee is closed we are here for our community. If you’d like further information on managing stress, we’re here for you.
We will get through this – my glass is half full.