Some things are a complete can’t do without when it comes to handbag contents but these items might be slightly out of the norm.
We tend to think stress is imposed on us and there is nothing we can do about it but that is not the case. Hoping that stress will somehow magically disappear from our lives is a recipe for disaster and frankly a sure fire way to wish your life away. We counts is how we deal with the stress that has a habit of simply showing up without warning on daily basis.
Shit happens! Is it possible to be stress free?
It’s perfectly possible and no disgrace to be be hard-wired for stress. Sadly some of us simply are. There is no point staring and seething at that apparently carefree mum whilst you mutter under your breath “well if I didn’t have a job I would be stress free too.”. Believe me I know. If you didn’t have a job your “to do” list simply shifts and it’s likely to remain long as your arm. The sense of disappointment when you only manage to work your way through half of the list is exactly the same. Never fear this doesn’t mean you are destined to a chuckle smuggler for life
The work ethic, the perfectionism, the high standards and the expectations all have their place.They can be helpful (in their place) but come on you deserve some light, joy filled moments, of happiness too, don’t you? And no-one is going to give you them, except yourself. While they have their place, these moments are not the ones you experience when you have had a glass wine and have forgotten (err suppressed) all that stress and suddenly achieved stress free, or was it unconscious status (oops I can’t remember which it was).
Toughing it out is not the answer!
You might believe you are the meanest toughest Deborah Meaden out there but becoming stress free, or rather managing the stress presented, is more to do with stealth than the width of your armour. If you happen to be in an environment where stressful events tend to come up and you don’t have strategies in place to manage that stress, beware! At some point will goose your adrenals and end up flat on your back mumbling “is that fried kidney I smell?”
Our adrenal rush allows us to get the things done.
As it happens when it comes to managing stress putting out the fire is much easier to deal with than the low level constant whine. It’s the “we are not actually communicating very well but my internal dialogue is telling me, you are accusing me of not doing something” type of thing that causes the majority to damage. If you really want to conquer stress you need multiple strategies in place to deal with that kind mental dialogue. When we talk about being stressed out what many of us don’t realise is that we are also experiencing a direct corresponding physiological response. When we are frazzled we are actually in flight or flight mode.
Know your body.
Our cortisol levels naturally spike following a stressful event. Levels should return to normal fairly quickly; usually after we eat. Problems really arise when we experience chronic (perhaps low level) anxiety. First our bodies stop responding to our constantly elevated cortisol levels and then our cortisol levels flat line. in this type of situation you might well find yourself in the middle a hormone storm with your entire hormonal system being thrown for a loop. My own experience was that I had no idea that I suffered from adrenal fatigue. I only came to realise that there was an issue when it was discovered I was suffering from an autoimmune condition related to the thyroid.This was discovered by accident as I struggled with fertility problems. In hindsight, what I now know was adrenal fatigue had probably been present for a long time (years!).
Here are three simple things (all of which will fit in a small handbag), I find invaluable when it comes to be being teflon for stress!
Is a herb which will stabilise cortisol levels. It’s an adaptogen which means that it will help shift your hormone production in the direction required. Perhaps even more importantly studies have shown that it actually reduces our perception of anxiety. In the UK it has to be brought from a licensed person (one of many herbal medicines this has applied to since 2011). Have a look on line for yourself. Here is a link to one I have used https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/shop/buy/organic-ashwagandha-powder.
2. A prop.
Have you ever said you yourself “‘I just can’t do this?” If you have, then why not allow yourself to be stress free as someone else does it for you. It’s not as ridiculous as it’ sounds. This is where the prop comes into play. When I was starting out as a court room lawyer, I used to pretend to be someone I’d watched doing the job really well. “Clare is fantastic, she has it sussed. I am going to wear red lipstick, speak slowly (that gives you time to think as you go along) and pretend to be Clare”.
It’s that kind of thing. You might not be able to do, or face, something but Clare or your “Alter Ego” who might have red lipstick but might also have an Amy Winehouse beehive, or whatever, will do it for you. It doesn’t matter what your prop is, fake glasses or huge earrings, something will work for you. I know it sounds completely ridiculous but try it, it works.
3. An iPod.
The music on your phone will do but it’s not ideal. It’s important to avoid being pulled into the world of perceived demands whenever possible. In my experience, the phone has black hole like qualities when it comes to perceived demands; it’s probably not on the list of stress free must haves. If carrying an iPod is too much a phone will do. Either way there is nothing like music to allow you to escape and to create an instant lift. Only you will know what kind of music does it for you. Just take some fun down time and create your very own “I embrace my inner hippy” hit list; some 60’s music is advisable but not compulsory.
I’d really love to hear how things have gone for you and especially all about your alter ego.
Looking for more suggestions about how to bring ease to your day. CLICK HERE for my guide How to Create an Ease Filled Day