A lot of us have grown to view stress as this Big, Bad Monster. All the time, we hear about the havoc it wreaks on our bodies & brains
But that’s only part of the story. In fact, stress is actually really healthy & helpful! If it doesn’t seem like it, it’s because we’re not doing stress ‘right’
You see, stress belongs as part of a complete cycle. Our bodies have intelligently evolved to (1) Activate our Resources & (2) Take Action when danger is present, then to (3) Release & (4) Rest when we are safe
Until you take action, move your body, and allow yourself time to release the tension in your body and truly relax, you’re going to stay Activated. If you feel like you’re always stressed or exhausted, you’re probably missing one of these steps. And you’re not alone!
Many of us weren’t taught how to take effective action. Plus, ‘effective action’ has a different meaning now than it did long ago — often it doesn’t include moving your body, which is crucial for releasing the energy that was generated when you became Activated.
And, perhaps worst of all, we’re not relaxing & resting properly. This is a process that takes more time than most people allow for. And, when we do sit down at the end of our day, we’re more likely to numb out or distract ourselves than to mindfully relax.
Staying in that Activated state for too long is what hurts us, not the existence of stress itself. So the next time you’re feeling burnt out, remember:
Don’t Stress Over Stress • Stress isn’t bad — it’s a natural process that you are inherently equipped to handle.
Complete the Cycle • The more stressed you are, the more time & attention your body needs to release, relax, & rest. Put away the distractions. Stretch, wiggle, run, dance. Relax your muscles. Breathe.
Stay Present • Our bodies naturally know how to process stress. But, in order for it to happen, we need to pay attention to our bodies messages — a.k.a. the sensations & urges that arise when we pause to notice.