Ahhhh what is happening to us?!
DO YOU WANT TO SCREAM?
ARE YOU AT THE END OF YOUR TETHER?
We are at the beginning of a very stressful, unknown time with this pandemic – Corona Virus. The media (bless!) is giving us bad news every day about lock downs; deaths; self-isolation for months for the elderly, and if you have symptoms; plus heaps more.
Yes the Government are doing what they think is needed. The one thing I have not seen is the reaction to the mental health crisis that may come as a result of the increased worry, isolation for months and not really knowing what is coming.
We had enough to worry about, without this. Yes?
My aim over the next few weeks is to give you techniques and ideas to help with the stress. These should be used all the time, as well as when you have symptoms of stress, so please practice them. Let me know if you have any problems, ideas, suggestions. I would love to hear from you.
What is stress?
Good and bad stress are chemical reactions, from messages between the stomach and the brain
What is ‘good’ stress?
- Excitement of achieving those examination grades
- The feeling of accomplishment when you have completed the presentation that you have been stressed about for months
- And maybe proud of yourself for achieving a solution to a problem that has been worrying you
- Gosh, there are many things to feel good about.
The Para Sympathetic nervous system is switched on, creating a feel good, relaxed state.
And what is bad stress?
A chemical reaction that will engage the fight or flight response.
The fight or flight response will
- Divert energy from the stomach (which is why sometimes people can’t eat and feel sick for example).
- Heart rate quickens
- Lungs react to take more air,
- Pupils dilate
- Immune system function reduced
- Diverts energy to our limbs and muscles.
- Long term, the bad stress can be a for heart and circulation disease for example
In the past, this fight or flight response would activate when we were in danger for our life. These days, life threatening situations are not experienced as often, but the fight or flight will engage when we are rushing around, stressed about our work, home life, finances etc. The reason is that the part of the brain that deals with the decision of whether something is life threatening or not, does not understand the way we live now, so will deduce that a situation that is quite harmless may be life threatening.
In the short term, fight or flight responses are helpful to the body and person. But in the long term constant activation of fight or flight can cause physical and mental problems.
A solution is to encourage the (Para-Sympathetic nervous system). This chemical reaction will encourage digestive enzymes, drop the heart rate and muscles will relax. This will allow our efficient digestion of food, encourage better sleep and help the brain find solutions for our problems.
What can you do to encourage the Para-Sympathetic nervous system?
- Social activities
- Music- play, listen, concerts
- Anything you enjoy.
- The list can go on.
The point is that you are distracted from your worries. Your body has time to process and find a solution for the problem(s). The health risks are lowered.
There are a few techniques that I give to people to help. These techniques should be used all the time, not just when stressed.
My gift to you today is BREATHING. Breathing into the chest has been linked with MENTAL ILL HEALTH. In my clinic, I have discovered that most people breath using the wrong process. Let me explain.
Put your hand on your stomach and breath in.
What happens to your hand?
Your hand should be pushed away from your body by your stomach when you breath in.
Take a breath in and hold.
Assess what is happening.
If your hand is moving inwards to the body, focus on the hand and breath in pushing your hand out with your stomach.
This is not easy for some people so please take your time and practice. Please practice this as much as possible, all day.
Most of us have got into the habit of breathing into the chest only which will do the opposite, that is, your hand will move inwards to the body. Breathing this way will not engage the nice relaxing (Para Sympathetic) nervous system.
What happens when you breath into the stomach?
- The Vagus Nerve is stimulated, engaging the Para-Sympathetic nervous system, therefore relaxing the body.
- The diaphragm will be exercised, encouraging the Vagus Nerve stimulation.
- The lungs will fill to a fuller capacity as the diaphragm moves down, therefore allowing more oxygen and energy to the brain and body.
- Your posture will adjust, allowing muscles to rebalance, therefore, long term strengthening of the body will be evident, physical shoulder, back and neck pain may reduce.
It is a wonderful, magnificent feeling when you breath….. properly.
Sounds weird, I know, but try it.
If you have difficulties, please contact me and I will spend some time working with you. It is easy when practiced but takes a while to co-ordinate. And you do have to practice.
I am here to help.
Mobile : 07980974333