Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Can you relate to the quote above? I know I can! I used to suffer from debilitating anxiety. Whilst I'm grateful for my stress/anxiety giving me the push I needed to fuel my constant need to over-achieve (shout out to my fellow Enneagram Type 3s!), I have also learned that it's possible to achieve the things you want + live a happy, fulfilling life without stressing and trying to control everything.
Anxiety never goes away fully, but there are tools, habits and lifestyle changes you can implement to help manage it. Today I'll be talking about how stress impacts the body and some tools & techniques you can implement to help you live a happier, less stressed life encompassing my 3 pillars of health- the body, the mind & the soul/spirit. While I acknowledge that stress is short term and anxiety is more of chronic reaction to stress, the majority of these things apply to both of those conditions.
First things first- stress isn't all bad
Let me make one thing clear- stress is not all bad. In fact, stress was designed to keep us out of danger. Think of our primal days when predators and other conditions could pose a physical threat to our lives- if, say, a giant tiger were charging toward you, you'd definitely want your body to release some stress hormones like adrenaline to kick into your fight-or flight mode, right?!
The problem is, most of us are NOT physically in danger, but we are experiencing more stress than ever due to work, family, social/societal obligations, social media, death of a loved one, and more. I'm writing this during the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of us are experiencing stress/fear due to the health crisis, the economy plummeting, and the millions of jobs lost.
What happens to your body when you are stressed?
Your muscles tighten, your breathing increases, your heart rate increases, and your focus sharpens. Again- these are all good things for a short-term physical danger, but not