2 minute read
How do you deal with extreme stress, and you can't calm down no matter what?
Ronnie, Business Development Manager
That’s a tough situation you are in. It’s going to take time to rewire your neural pathways that were created for dealing with extreme stress. The fact that you have identified it as not helping you, is the first step to rewiring your brain to choose a different outcome (neural plasticity). Practising yoga and meditation can help develop new neural pathways to deal with stress.
How long have you been under this extreme stress? What are the main sources contributing to this extreme stress? Can you reduce or eliminate these? Seeking advice from professionals is worth considering if this extreme stress is impacting your health and/or close relationships. This is not a complete list, but some proactive and reactive options to consider.
Reactive Options (If you are past the point of no return):
- Get out of the stressful situation, i.e. go for a walk, change the environment
- Follow “The Ronnie Practice”. I’ve created a free 1 minute audio to give you an idea on how to guide yourself when you feel hulk mode is approaching. It involves:
- Step 1: Find a place to sit if possible, and immediately direct your focus to your feet. Place your feet/shoes flat on the floor. Full contact for concrete clarity of sensation. Feel down into the legs and feet.
- Step 2: Lengthening the out breath physiologically activates the relaxation response in the nervous system. Consciously bring the attention to your exhale, observe. Then begin to lengthen the out breath.
- Start to become aware of your early warning signs and find techniques/strategies that work for you to implement when you notice them arising. It could be physically; tension in the chest/shoulders, knot in belly, heat rising into your temples, etc. and/or mentally/emotionally; short with the people around you, tired, etc.
- Take more breaks throughout the day. Schedule holidays and take them. Have rest days. Just like you have rest days from the gym to allow the body to recover. The mind needs the same, to process all the events, tasks and stresses from the day.
- Consider practising yoga/meditation and exercising regularly for building mental/emotional resilience.
- For yoga make sure the practises are breath focused (linking breath with movement, rather than solely posture/asana/physical, as that is just exercise) for the most mental/meditative benefit.
- There are lots of meditation techniques available, you need to experiment and find the one that suits you. I’m currently reading a really good guide book, recommended to me by my teacher called “Meditation Made Easy”, Lorin Roche PH.D. It is really broadening my understanding of meditation and the book is an easy and fun read that makes a lot of sense. Check out the amazon book reviews, to get a sense of it.
Be patient, and kind to yourself. This is something I have to remind myself regularly to do. I have found that a lot of the stress comes internally from expectations we place on ourselves.