Dealing with stress

Today’s topic here is stress. It is part of the blog’s name, and for this reason, I’d like to share some thoughts about it. Let’s start with the basics:

What is stress?

Wikipedia says there are two types of stress which shouldn’t be confused whit each other: physiological and physical.

Physiological or biological stress is an organism’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition. Stress is a body’s method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Because the body cannot keep this state for long periods of time, the parasympathetic system returns the body’s physiological conditions to normal (homeostasis). In humans, stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

The physical stress is more technical and not the one that I try to avoid and would like to write about.

Well, to read the word challenge in this description feels even comforting to me, but a challenge could be frightening as well. Anyway, stress is the response of the body to an unusual situation, and the feeling about this could be negative or positive. Like everyone else, I prefer the positive impact for sure. Unfortunately in both cases – positive or negative stress I am not able to do something properly, and I am not able to work.

The truth is that there were so many new situations and requests for me during the last year, that at some point I didn’t know how to deal with it. Somehow, I did it, and for this reason, I was a little bit proud of me, but on the other hand side I felt exhausted and unhappy, was not able to switch-off and to forget the job for a weekend, and my body didn’t work how it should be. After an illness over Christmas and New Years Eve, the decision was made: don’t get stress and learn how to deal with it.
I get stressed either on my own or because someone or something put pressure on me. Stress on my means I start thinking of something, and somehow I over-think this issue so much that my imagination stresses me.
With that kind of stress I can deal better, knowing what I need –– run in the park, Zumba or Yoga Class, chat with a close person, writing, drawing. In the most cases, the sport is enough to cool down and relax.

Dealing with stress coming from the outside world is more difficult. There are plenty of reasons for this: because I am afraid of the person, or of the situation, or I don’t know how to solve a problem, or I know how to solve it that I am afraid of the confrontation which is part of the solving process.

What helps?

Apparently, meditation is the only one syntactical proofed method that helps against stress in long-term. Years ago I tried it on my own, but everything that I knew, was to try not to think of anything and to count the breaths. I didn’t stay on practising meditation for longer than two weeks.
Soon after New Year’s Eve, a friend told me about a meditation app, which guides you through a meditations sessions –– headspace.
I started ten days free trial. In the beginning, I just felt a bit more relax than usual. After day 5 I noticed that I felt somehow calmer. I was still the emotional person, who I am, but deep inside I started to feel more grounded and resting. I liked this feeling.
It felt like if I get a better basis under my feet, or have some solid wall behind me which protects me from pressure and anxiety. I enjoyed it! I didn’t subscribe yet, so I just repeat the old sessions, and do this once a week. For some reason, the good feeling of security and protection is still there, but I am aware that I need to make a habit from my headspace sessions. This will be part of the plan for the next months. But for now, I would like to ask you what your ways of dealing with stress are? Do you practice meditation?

I am looking forward to reading about your experiences.

Best, Eva

Merken

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