Stress….the cause of it all…?
I get asked a lot in my profession about stress and its affect on the body. From my own personal experience and from that which I see in the clinic I feel as if I am starting to really understand this insidious factor in our lives, and how it is very possibly the pre-cursor to a huge amount of our health issues. Each day and each year I learn more and more and uncover another layer of the impact it causes on us all. I feel as though I look around at the world and the people in it and can read from their stance, the expression on their face and the energy they are exerting as to what they are experiencing in that moment….I can see the need for a deep breath and full exhalation, the need for some alone time of deep rest and restoration, the need to just pause for a moment…just one brief moment to catch their breath…to take stock, to recalibrate.
What is stress? Look up the Oxford Dictionary and you will find a plethora of definitions which all talk about ‘tension’ and ‘strain’, and then take a look at your own life, your own body. Right now if I scan my body from head to toe I can feel tension in my eyes from fatigue, my scalp from staring at my computer screen, my shoulders from rushing around all day, my back from lifting my young child in and out of the car, my arms from carrying heavy shopping loads and my legs from the 30 minute walk I took yesterday in an attempt to ‘get fit’, ‘lose weight’ and improve my cardiovascular health.
Internally I can feel tension in my head – the beginning of a headache after a super busy day, in my stomach…the gripping anxiety of solo parenting for a few days while my husband is away on business and needing to be ‘on top of it all’, and in my throat and chest – from not breathing gently and deeply due to the busyness of my mind and activities.
Around me I can feel the stress in my environment from the WiFi beaming it’s rays to my laptop, from the PS4 console ‘talking’ to the cordless handheld remotes and my mobile phone connected to a tower somewhere in the distance. If I walk out my front door this environmental stress is in the space around me – more mobile connections, WiFi connections, microwaves, cordless this and bluetooth that!
It’s everywhere and it happens to us all and it manifests itself in an enormous variety of symptoms and sufferings.
So what’s the fix? What’s the answer? Well, there isn’t one singular thing. Not one simple solution to this common element that invades all of our lives. It becomes a mission of management rather than cure. And self-management of this dis-ease is becoming more and more imperative for us to include in our daily routines. To actually be mindful enough to acknowledge it is time to ‘de-stress’, time to undertake whatever our stress relieving ritual may be.
What is also becoming increasingly concerning is the impact that our stress, environmental stress and their own personal stress is having on our kids….the generation of tomorrow. If we can make the effort to display stress relieving practices in our own lives, hopefully our children and grandchildren will model themselves on us and do the same for themselves. Introducing stress management at a young age is really needing to be part of the parenting plan of tomorrow…and today!
My handy ‘5 Tips to De-Stress’ booklet can be emailed to you by clicking here or going to the bottom of any page on this website and filling in your email address – should you want some guidance on where to start.
Therapies such as massage, acupuncture, Bowen therapy, kinesiology etc are great therapeutic ways to rid the body of stress build up.
Also, make sure to find what works for you – make sure you are taking time, however brief, to do something just for you, something you enjoy….yoga, meditation, bushwalking, painting…etc. ‘Filling our cup’ will restore our energy and nurture our spirit.