What is the clinical definition of stress? According to The Cleveland Clinic "stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life." Of course I think we all know this by now, but in this day and age it's different. Stress was useful back in the Stone Age when it allowed us to react and respond in the correct way to an attack, but now our bodies are constantly in a state of fight or flight, which is not good. Most of us are in a perpetual state of stress that manifests in our bodies as different ailments. Pretty much what I'm trying to get across is that stress causes a plethora of unwanted problems in our mental, physical and emotional body.
So what can we do?
We all have stressful jobs, and living in a big city such as London will bring it's own stresses. Add on top of that a Tier 3 lockdown and the rest of the world being in a similar situation, you might just hit the boiling point. I think the only thing that we can do realistically is notice within ourselves when we need to slow down. As I said before there are quite a few signs that will serve as cues to help you understand when you just need to stop! I will list a few......
To name a few......... depression, anxiety, racing thoughts, insomnia, digestive issues, emotional numbness, problems with concentration, irritability, libido changes, and a rapid heartbeat. These are just a handful, so notice them before you get them all at once like I have, seriously don't let it get to emotional numbness, it's really hard to come back from that one. Either way, I tend to just keep going even when I know I'm tired.....
Just a few days ago my rib popped out of place while I was picking my socks off of the floor. It just went out and that was it for me for that day. No F45 Fulham, no cleaning the house, just rest, a chiropractic session and a take away. I couldn't move at all for the most part of the morning so I called my chiropractor (as I've learned my lesson to not just stay in pain praying it will go away eventually). They couldn't fit me in at my location so thank you so much Grant at Putney Chiropractic Centre for taking care of me, I can move my back again!
What happened to me two days ago was my body saying "please just stop!!!". Obviously, I didn't listen quick enough or I wouldn't be writing this in bed where I have been most of the day. I know that life is confusing right now. Can we see people, or can't we?.... Mask on or mask off? Should I go to the doctor for my normal check-up or will that put me in danger?
There are a multitude of questions, but close to no answers. That in itself is probably one of the most common stressors right now, our lack of control. Control makes us feel like we have a handle on our life, but take that away and anything can happen. Sometimes that can be great, maybe you meet the love of your life or get offered an amazing opportunity, but in our current Covid predicament the outcome seems a bit bleak.
There are so many ways that we can help ourselves, because let me tell you... stress is not going anywhere. The only thing that we can change is ourselves and that is true in every aspect of life. If you are unhappy with your life, angry at the world or whatever it is, you are the only person responsible for getting yourself there, but you can change everything if you set the intention. A few things that can really help as well are therapy, meditation, exercise, yoga, clean eating, limiting alcohol, finding out what makes you happy, nixing the things that don't serve you anymore etc.
I hope you can resonate with what I have discussed and I hope that it can help you if you were struggling. Trust me, no one is doing great right now, so talk about it and acknowledge how you are feeling. Don't try to tough it out and repress your emotions, it will bite you in the ass later on. I feel that I can unequivocally state with full confidence that it will definitely bite you in the ass later, physically, mentally or emotionally.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Next week I will be talking about how we can help our own body deal with life's stresses in a very simple way. Every little bit helps, right? No more ribs popping out when they feel like it or debilitating anxiety attacks.