Stress and anxiety have robbed me of too much of my life. It comes with a bunch of names and labels. Post traumatic Stress disorder. Social Anxiety Disorder. Work stress. Financial stress. Family tension and anxiety. There are way too many reasons in life to keep our hearts beating on overdrive, our muscles over contracted and our minds on the brink of shut down.
Scientists will tell us that stress is a natural response that our bodies have developed to protect our species. Stress is why an antelope can escape from the lioness as she hunts. A major cultural difference between the antelope and us is that once the threat of the lioness has passed the antelope returns to grazing, resting, etc. In our fast passed enviornments, we jump from threat to threat. Not only do we keep our hearts and muscles in a state of stress response, but we raise the bar of what it takes for our bodies to sense and feel stress. We become desensitized to it while it still eats away at us.
Everything I have found to help live the question of stress in my life is more effective when I start with my breathing. Deep intentional breaths that coincide with prayer, meditation, exercise, a walk on the docks or just for that moment when I would rather slap someone.
Relax the muscles. Release the tension. Decompress. Destress. Breathe well!