What is stress?
Lets say stress is the amount of air within a balloon. A balloon without air is really relaxed, while a balloon filled with air is under a lot of pressure, as the walls of the balloon is being pushed away from each other. We call this stress. We usually think of stress as something negative or even harmful, but it doesn’t have to be. Stress is just a mechanism which puts us in the fight or flight mode. The hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisone is being secreted in our body. This increases our pulse, breathing, our blood vessels are tightening and glucose(energy) is being released in our muscles. Our blood is being transferred from our digestive organs to our most important muscles. Cortisol is releasing glucose in our skeleton muscles (muscles responsible for movement) and liver so that the blood sugar rises. Its not hard to understand that this can be of very good help and even lifesaving in an acute situation. Our balloon is now filled with energy, ready to burst at our will. As we pass our obstacles we’re letting go of the air from the ballon and we turn back to a relaxed state. When the air increases and decreases smoothly without any stalls, the process is positive as it gives us both a psychological and a physical workout.
Why do we stress?
This mechanism starts when we’re meeting an obstacle on our way towards a goal, or when we’re in a threatening situation. In a society where we focus more on what might make us happy rather than being happy with what we already have, we create so many goals. Constantly chasing happiness in the future, like a dog chasing its own tail, oblivious to the fact that the tail is already his. As we’re running for our goals, the media is our greatest motivator. Always around the corner, telling us our goal is right around the next corner. The longer we run away from our starting point, the longer we run away from our true self. Loosing our passions, our curiosity, our deep feelings- and connections, our drive and our purpose. With this disconnection with our true self, we let others tell us how to live, while in essence we’re the only one with the answer.
When does stress become unhealthy?
When we’re meeting an obstacle we can’t seem to pass right away, the pressure is being stored and the fight or flight energy remains within. This is the point where the energy of stress is turning into a negative energy. We’re blocking the natural flow of energy, creating both physical and emotional damage. For example; If we have an urge to express our feelings or thoughts, but we’re afraid to be vulnerable. Or maybe we’re looking for happiness in a materialistic thing, and when we get it, we don’t feel satisfied. Another example could be if we’re experiencing a threatening situation, and we don’t find peace afterwards. When an incident like this is severe we call it a trauma. Often its easier to justify our failures which works as a transmitter form consciousness to unconsciousness. Trowing our problems in a plastic bag with some rocks before trowing them in the lake. When this pressure is stored within our body we can experience symptoms of unhealthy stress. The first symptoms will be restlessness as we feel something inside us wants to get out. Later on we can experience getting clumsy as our attention is being distracted. After a while our muscles are getting tense, as cortisol is releasing energy. This could lead to stiff neck, which in addition to our psychological dissonance, headaches may occur. Having these symptoms, our body is getting a beating, and getting vulnerable to more stress. When being vulnerable we feel the need to defend ourselves. This means preparing for possible stressful outcomes which turns our attention into a “worst case scenario” future. Trying to control what we cannot. Our outlook for the future is getting negative as we can’t afford spending energy on the positive. This downward spiral will only continue until we make a change which enables us to find peace within. Noradrenaline is being injected in people who suffer from life threatening low blood pressure. When we’re stressed, this chemical is naturally produced, and if we’re stressed over longer periods of time our blood pressure will rise. Another side effect of releasing cortisone over time is the destruction of our immune system. Our immune system has a vital protective function agains infections as it attacks and destroys microorganisms and other foreign substances. In other words; when we’re at this point, the balloon is so big that people around us start turning their heads around and putting their fingers in their ears. From here on out, there is no end to the list of illnesses that may occur. Once we are here, the quality of the balloon, or should I say the health of the body, is what’s keeping us alive on our road down the spiral.
Unfortunately this is a very common problem and the general solution seems to be suppressing symptoms with medicines prescribed by our doctor. Living the motto; “Ignorance is bliss”. Antidepressant, blood pressure medication, antibiotics, valium and so on. Medications like this often have bad side effects, makes our illnesses worse while at the same time they suppress our physical guidelines(symptoms). In order to get rid of suffering we need to heal, not suppress.
What can we do about unhealthy stress?
If we want to reunite with inner peace and relinquish stress there are natural and effective ways of doing so.
First up we need to find our motivation. This is the most important stage. Acknowledging just how destructive our stress is. This kind of stress is suffering, and in order to suffer we need a contrast to our suffering. The problem with this kind of stress is that it usually develops slowly over time. By the time we develop illness, the contrast to our suffering might not more than a faded memory. Blind to our suffering, numb to life. Once we truly know our stress, its easier to see how our life would be without. This is essential for our success. For this step we first need to gather information about what stress is and talk about it with friends, family or a shrink . Achieving the knowledge of how it works and how destructive it can be. Seeing it for what it really is and accepting how much it is affecting us might be a slap in the face, but don’t worry, the harder the slap the greater the motivation. This process will give us a clear understanding of our patterns. What is stressing us, how do we usually deal with it, how do we distract ourselves. Not only will this give us the motivation we need, but the guidelines in how to continue our work.
Next we need to open up the possibility that we’ve been lying to ourselves. It doesn’t mean we have to revisit our past, it just means to open the flow between our unconsciousness and consciousness so that the truth may arise. This might bring up some hidden truths about ourselves. We might experience some uncomfortable emotions, but opening up to these emotions also means we’re opening up to the opposite emotions as well. Expanding our spectrum of feelings will give our life more life.
We might feel tempted to point fingers and blaming someone for our situation, but the the truth is it doesn’t really matter whose fault it is. Forgive yourself, forgive the media, forgive friends and family. If we’re holding a grudge its essential that we find a way to forgive the past and accept the present.
In the first step we discovered what makes us stressed. In some cases it might be important to make some big lifestyle changes. Imagining our life as peaceful rather than stressful is the first step into making the necessary changes. At the same time we need to find what is really making us happy and shift our focus towards those things. This might mean we have to let go of old patterns and in some cases part of our identity.
This is not a quick fix. Its important that we remain patient and avoid getting stressed about the situation. Find techniques that help you find your inner peace. Going for walks, hanging out in nature and meditation can be effective tools. Having a healthy lifestyle makes everything easier. Being active as well as eating healthy food can make a huge difference.
These are at least my thoughts on the subject. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts, so please feel free expo your enlight in the comments below.
Living in this 14 billion years old universe, we are all extremely rare and valuable. This world could not have existed without you. We’re all an equally important part of what is, in a uniq period of time. Im very grateful for the opportunity to share this time on this planet with you all. Lots of love to my dear universal family of this time. Because of you, I am. Thank you.
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