An in the moment tool to lower stress
Christmas is supposed to be this exciting magical time of year but sometimes the lead up can feel a bit wonky and wobbly and can actually be a bit stressful and overwhelming for many of us for a whole host of reasons. We’ve got a lot of social engagements, the kids have heaps of things on, everyone wants everything done before the holidays start, and then there’s just generally being worn down and ready for a holiday, which makes things more overwhelming than they might normally be.
So, I wanted to talk to you about a couple of things we can do to make this time of year feel smoother.
Often I find myself saying, “I will feel less stressed when, or I’ll just get this finished first and then I’ll feel better.” But then life throws a whole new thing at me, and the cycle continues. It’s a never-ending rollercoaster of “I’ll feel better when”, but the feeling better never comes. So we need to focus on what we can do RIGHT NOW to help ourselves feel better.
The reality is that we can’t wave a magic wand and get rid of the stressors. However, we can build resilience to help ourselves to feel better. We can’t remove the stress but we can change our perception of it.
The term stress in itself makes me cringe. I hate that word because the reality is that stress can be a positive thing.
We need positive stress to be able to adapt, to get stronger, to get smarter, all the good things. Exercise is a perfect example of this. We need the stress for our body to respond and build more muscle. It’s when that stress goes on and on that it becomes dis-stress and that is what starts to wear us down.
Often I get an influx of people coming to me around this time of year with digestive issues, maybe constipation, or diarrhoea, or both (!), there’s more people with brain fog, hormonal and sleep complaints, and they’re just exhausted. All these things can be created by stress.
From a primal perspective.
If we’re being chased by a bear, our body doesn’t have time to prioritise digesting food, and will start shutting down all the functions that aren’t essential for surviving the threat. We start to see hormones becoming unbalanced, this can take time and you might not feel the effect of it until February, but we can see digestive issues, brain fog, fatigue and sleep issues starting immediately. It’s a huge problem.
We know that going away, meditating and doing yoga classes, taking our shoes off and walking on the beach are incredible and help us to destress.
But they’re not instant.
What do you do right now when someone is triggering you?
What do you do when your boss is piling on the pressure?
I know you want the quick fix solution - and I’m here to give it to you!
I’m going to give you an in-the-moment tool that you can use when life feels super wobbly and you need immediate relief.
This is something that is so easy - and it’s free!
Here’s what you’re going to do:
You’re going to take a breath in.
Exhale as slowly as you can.
Do it a second, third, fourth time and more if you need it.
That’s it. Simply breathe in and then exhale as slowly as you can.
Through your nose or mouth doesn’t matter. Just long slow deep breaths.
It might sound too simple, but it’s very effective. When we inhale our heart rate increases. When we exhale our heart rate lowers. Exhaling breath is a signal to your body that you are safe.
This is an amazing in the moment tool you can do whenever you’re feeling stressed.