Our bodies don’t distinguish between the real stress of a physical danger like a near motor car accident or the self-inflicted stress of becoming anxious because of our thoughts, such as getting tense and upset about being late. Unchecked emotions and thoughts cause actual physiological change in our bodies taxing the endocrine system, and particularly the adrenal glands. Real dangers and threats are not a usual part of our day to day lives . Most of the ubiquitous modern day stress is made up in our minds. While there are natural nutritional ways of supporting the adrenal system, the most obvious natural approach to stress management should start with changing our minds.
Although we all talk about the “stresses” of modern day life as if we share the triggers, self-inflicted or “inner” stress is very individual.
To change your mind about stress:
- Assess your stressful experiences and identify the specific conditions that trigger tension, anxiety, irritation, anger, rage and other negative states.
- Take responsibility for your stressful reactions – it’s your reaction not someone else ‘doing’ anything to you. Avoid assigning blame and feeling sorry for yourself.
- Actively apply an antidote that works for you – for example, if driving in traffic often triggers stressful reactions in you, be aware of this and choose to listen to calm music to help relax you.
- Stop using the word stress and choose not to have conversations with others about how stressful life is. If you affirm something to yourself often enough you believe it and experience it.
- Affirm instead that you are calm and relaxed, and that life is easy and joyful. Even if it is not true at the time, you will eventually adjust old beliefs and change your experience.
- Distance yourself from people who are constantly in ‘stress mode’ and choose to associate instead with people who are easy going and relaxed.
- In the face of adversity, choose to see opportunities, not obstacles.
- Don’t over-react in the moment. More often than not, what seems like a ‘disaster’ at the time turns out to be a bonus over time. Remember this in a ‘crisis’ moment, and choose to keep calm. Deep, slow conscious breathing helps to restore calm.
- Be mindful and stop incessant worrying. Studies have shown that 95% of the things that we worry about never happen. That means we spend 95% of our time worrying about the 5% of things that may happen — wow, is that unproductive or what?!
The most natural approach to the treatment of stress is to avoid it! Actively work on recalibrating your “take” on stress. If you do refer to something as being stressful be sure that the situation has earned the right “to be considered a stress”! Actively seek to de-stress with activities like yoga, meditation, creative hobbies, reading, relaxation, entertaining, humour, intimacy and exercise. Set boundaries to avoid being “sucked in” to situations that you know you find stressful. Take active control of your life, stop blaming others or moaning about “your lot” and find your unique solutions to stressful situations.
However, if you are in a situation of real ongoing stress, you would benefit from learning about the ways to support your adrenal system through natural nutrition. Contact me for more information.