International Stress Awareness Week – November 2nd – 6th
International Stress Awareness Week was created by the International Stress Management Association – ISMA – with the emphasis on a Stress Awareness Day on November 4th this year, 2020.
ISMA is all about promoting stress prevention and wellbeing and is primarily about stress reduction and prevention in the workplace.
With the advent of COVID-19 and the instruction to work from home where possible, the lines between work and home-based stress have become blurred. And let’s face it, stress is stress, no matter where it arises from or what word we associate with it, eg overwhelm, anxiety, negative thoughts, vagueness etc.
This year we find ourselves entering a second phase of lockdown in England during this week and at this moment the world is holding its breath around the USA elections and what the consequences of this may be. These are just two of the global stresses that we may be aware of.
We all know of someone who appears to breeze through life no matter what experience shows up for them. In my experience these people are few and far between. Even the most apparently together person may experience that one thing that tips them ‘over the edge’, eg an unexpected family or friend bereavement or being passed over for promotion at work etc.
Our fight or flight response is often quoted as THE stress response. It isn’t. The fight or flight response is totally natural and the body responding in a way that is required to keep us safe in an environment that is challenging and where we need to be alert to possible threats.
What can happen with continuously being in this state is our body not being able to switch off the chemicals associated with the fight or flight response. This then creates the symptoms of dis-ease and eventually illness of some form.
There are many and varied presentations of an over-active stress response, including and not exclusive to the following, physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses either individual and more commonly a combination.
I have to say at this point that I am not a medical practitioner and so seeking medical attention maybe required depending on the severity of your presenting symptoms.
I ignored my presenting symptoms for many years. I somehow kept on telling myself that I could sort this out and I wasn’t so bad as others and not to bother the doctor. For a long time, I didn’t know how to help myself until I began to read all manner of self hep books and go on courses, many courses. For instance, this is where I discovered what IBS was and began my life-long learning about the digestive system and changing my eating habits.
In the intervening years since I started on my quest for enlightenment and much has been discovered about our bodies and the stress response, both good and bad, the involvement of the gut brain and so much more.
What I am going to say is this, if I can change then so can you. If I can work with ways to look after me, my life and not feel as though I’m about to fall apart every five minutes, while holding my breath in case I was discovered as a fraud in all areas of my life, then so can you.
Even when you are telling yourself that you are not worthy of anyone else’s time, I am here to say to you that you are. You matter, and you matter way more than you care to know.
I am here to say to you that you are NOT as screwed up as you like to think that you are and just as I have done you too can find that one thing that will assist you in changing this. For me it’s been Access Consciousness® and all its tools and techniques. For you it maybe some other modality, or wild water swimming, or volunteering in some way for a local charity.
- What could you choose for you today?
- What do you know?
- What is a simple thing that you could do today to acknowledge that ‘stressors’, those things that bring on palpitations, a churning gut or sweaty palms, exist in your world?
- If you need to talk, who do you know would listen to you with hearts on their ears and allow you to be you with no interruption or judgement?
- What action could you take today to move away from stress and move towards ease and calm?
Whether you’re an Anxious Annie, an Emotional Emma or a Panic Stricken Penny please know that you do not need to get through this on your own.
With ease and calm