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Stress vs. Relaxation

What is Stress?

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse circumstances in which the body uses more energy than it creates; Fight / Flight / Freeze

What is Relaxation?

Relaxation is a state of being in which you are free of tension and anxiety and able to create new energy without diminishing it. Rest / Rejuvenate / Repair

A natural Stress Response:

  1. Individual experiences a stressor. (chassed by a wild predator)

  2. A complex of hormones, like cortisol & more, are released into your body

  3. Cortisol prepares the body for fight or flight by flooding it with glucose, supplying the large muscles with immediate energy

  4. Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose storage but rather favouring its immediate use

  5. Cortisol narrows the arteries while epinephrine increases hear rate, both to which force blood to pump harder and faster

  6. The individual addresses and resolves the situation (escapes said threat)

  7. Hormone levels drop back to normal and the body returns to homeostasis in which repair & rejuvenation can occur

A natural Relaxation Response:

Going about your day feeling calm, safe, fearless, happy and living in the present moment keeps you in homeostasis. When your body and mind are in this state of true relaxation good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin are flowing. When you are calm and relaxed your energy systems are flowing well and orderly so you can be creative, energized and healing.

So, what’s the problem?

In our modern day society, our fast-paced lifestyle, demands for high productivity, lack of feeling adequate and most concerning is our perceptions of viewing situations as stressful puts us in a state of stress; nearly all day long. These scenarios become habits and conditioning.

Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do, excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit”

If we replace the word "excellence" with "stress" from the above quote we are habiting stress and subsequently limiting our potential for health & vitality.

When we are consistently perceiving situations as stressful and have no techniques to diffuse or release the effects of the stressors, we chronically become less and less healthy; we can become deeper and deeper into depression and become conditioned for dis"ease".

What Solutions are there?

To create habits or routines of eliciting our relaxation response regularly buy means of ....

  • slow, deep, belly breathing (daily, anywhere, anytime)

  • receiving therapy methods such as Energy Medicine sessions, E.F.T. sessions, reflexology or massage

  • being optimistic and thinking positively

  • expressing your creativity through body and mind

  • practicing daily gratitude (consider journaling)

  • finding supportive relationships (work, socially or family)

  • choosing to be happy and laughing often

  • spending time in nature

  • building a daily meditation routine

  • listening to calming music or guided meditations (consider the app “Calm”)

  • engaging in relaxing activities like sauna, aromatherapy or spa treatments

  • participating in fun activities (recreational, sport or intimate)

  • acting in alignment with your “authentic” self

  • practicing saying “No” and only accepting responsibilities you can manage, comfortably

  • performing Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, moving meditations or dancing

  • using your, perceived, fears as guiding posts to making change(s) you may need in your life

  • accepting mishaps and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow

  • creating and using personal prayers, mantras or incantations

  • staying in the peacefulness of “the Now” or “living in the moment”

  • offering yourself and others forgiveness, compassion and kindness

  • believing in your magnificence & importance to this world

  • loving yourself, unconditionally!!

Love & Light

~ Jeff ~

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