In my blog I often talk about change and how important it is to step out of your comfort zone. With Living Brave, I want to inspire you to add more colour to your life. Adventure, excitement and kindness are like pink, blue and yellow on a canvas. The more colour you add the more special and unique your life will be. But stepping out of your comfort zone can also result in stress. But remember that doesn’t always have to be something bad.
David Hoffman (“Successful Stress Control. The Natural Way”) defines stress as the response of the body to any demand. Pretty simple right. Just staying alive creates demands on the body for life-maintaining energy, even while we are asleep. So by definition, stress is a fundamental part of being alive and should therefore not be avoided. The trick is to ensure that the degree of stress we experience is such that life is a joy, not a drag.
Any demands made upon us in daily life bring about certain reactions in the body. These same reactions can occur under emotional and physical conditions. You probably notice a big difference between the pain caused by the loss of a loved one and the pain caused by the temperature dropping too fast. Actually, the nature of the demand isn’t important at all. To the body, it’s all the same because the stress response is always the same. The brain sends the nerve signals which react by secreting hormones to cope with the task ahead. Also interesting is that stress is not just worry and strain. A new and exiting love can cause us as much stress as an old cranky boss. It’s a keynote of life, with all it’s ups and downs. But you are right, it can feel overwhelming at times.
When the level of stress goes beyond the point of being a healthy stimulant it usually takes the form of what doctors call “anxiety”. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. I had been dealing with those feelings in the past myself. My heart started pounding and my stomach felt sick. Those feelings usually appeared when I felt trapped in a situation like sitting in a train, bus or at a formal event. Pretty annoying, I can tell you that. Even though I was aware of the anxiety attack in that moment I still couldn’t control it. I just had to wait it out and hope it doesn’t get worse.
Start some Stress Management
After living with anxiety for a couple of years I decided to challenge those fears. Psychological therapy was the key for me. After I made the decision to go I already felt better. I needed someone who understood what I was going through. People who don’t suffer from anxiety themselves don’t always understand how challenging it can be. Which is fair enough I guess.
The different therapies are only ways of helping us find the peace that is in us anyway. We are all in fact our own healers. The key is an inner attitude of taking responsibility for the quality of our own lives. We can seek help from professionals like medical doctors, herbalists, or alternative therapy. But the responsibly for healing can never be truly handed to another. Healing comes from within and is inherent to being alive. It is rarely an act of consciously harnessing inner energy, but it is always an expression of our inner power.
The important point to bear in mind though is that stress, tension, and anxiety are sometimes predictable. So don’t be a victim! Recognize when you are moving into particular difficult periods in your life and take steps to actively ease their impact. You can do this by using some herbal remedies for example. You should also take care of your body. Maybe you treat yourself with a massage or practise some yoga. Is your diet providing enough B vitamins to help you cope with the extra stress? Preparing for the pressure will go a long way toward decreasing its impact on you.
Be strong. Be brave. Be you.