What is the definition of stress?
pressure or tension exerted on a material object."the distribution of stress is uniform across the bar"Similar:pressuretensionstraintightnesstautnesstensity
a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
"Stress can also be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. Stress is your body's response to anything that requires attention or action. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being."
For many, our childhood was carefree and we lived in a stress free state of being. Yet, on the flip side, some of our childhoods were surrounded by stress.
As children, we don't quite know what stress is. We're actually not really capable of handling stress because it's such an abstract concept.
As children, the way we subconsciously handle stress is by creating coping mechanisms. But we are not really cognizant of that either. Not until we become adults do we see or can actually understand the stress that surrounded us as children. And maybe, our parents didn't know how to cope with their own stress. By the time we are adults, stress has taken some kind of toll on us physically, emotionally and mentally. We may have created patterns that don't serve us.
As mentioned above, stress can affect our whole well being. It can have detrimental effects if we do not learn how to manage our stress. There's a possibility, we may not even realize how stress may be affecting us because we may be disassociating our discomfort from stress to more of an illness, physical pain or something else.
According to the WebMD.com, here are some common affects of stress that can affect our quality of life.
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
Feeling overwhelmed, as if you are losing control or need to take control
Having a hard time relaxing and quieting your mind
Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), and feeling lonely, worthless, and depressed
Physical symptoms of stress include:
Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
Frequent colds and infections
Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ears, and cold or sweaty hands and feet
Dry mouth and a hard time swallowing
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
Forgetfulness and disorganization
Inability to focus
Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much
Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
More use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
Having more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
We are well aware here that stress can bring an onset of issues, possibly driving us to behave in ways we wouldn't think of behaving otherwise.
The list above is a list of symptoms to be aware of. And if we connect with any of the symptoms, its critical to find the resources to help ourselves.
As a Yoga teacher and educator, the Self Care Doula was born because I came face to face with how the stress of some life changing situations were becoming detrimental to my health. Fortunately, I had to make a choice. Either seek the help I needed to bring myself back to a state of wellbeing or suffer the consequences of my physical, emotional and mental suffering.
We obviously know what I chose or I wouldn't be here writing about this topic.
With time, and intentional dedication, I chose to learn how to skillfully manage my stress, not just for my own sake, but especially for those I loved. Because as we know, what affects us, affects those around us. And I was willing to fight for the future of my state of wellness than to spiral and risk losing myself within the depths of my own suffering.
Life still carry's plenty of stressors and they will come at us like curve balls. That's why it is important to learn the skills of managing stress.
Is it possible to reverse the effects of stress as adults?
I believe it is. We live in an age where stress has become unavoidable. We are in a constant state of fight or flight. We have the power to learn how to reduce and even eliminate some stressors.
How do we do we begin to do this?
By creating a self care tool box and by learning and creating practices that work for us. We are all unique human beings. As such, it's up to us to find what works for us; take action, resource ourselves and find a combination of healing modalities to integrate into our lives.
How and where do we begin?
It may feel overwhelming at first, but we are not alone. We experience stress every day in many shapes or forms. I can thankfully say, we begin here. Everyday, we can take action on one thing that can help us reduce stress. Maybe it's attending your first yoga class, learning how to breathe or meditation. Taking small steps to help change patterns of stressors is key. Set realistic goals but most importantly, actively create a space and practice of deep self love by learning self care skills and techniques.
Come and attend the church's offerings of Yoga, Breathwork and workshops we offer. We are here to support your journey. We will hold space for you, as you come back to feeling more whole. By learning how to skillfully manage your stress , you will feel empowered.
Remember to check out our events calendar so that you can begin your journey of resiliency. I won't say it's not challenging work, it is. And, it is worth it, because you are worth it. It is your birthright to live a life where you are not in constant suffering. Thankfully, there is a way out. Allow it to be the hardest work you will put to practice to feel less fractured in the world we live in.
As a congregation, we will not allow you to get swept by the stressors of life. We are here to support your well-being and see you thrive.
Check out the list of events here:
I hope to see and meet you at one or at many of our events.
Love, healing and blessings to you.
Resident Yoga Teacher and Self Care Doula