The brain processes a system of sensations, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and relationships. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system which keeps us fighting onward using hormones from the adrenal gland. Stress kicks up heart rate, blood pressure, and quickens breathing, and, at its worst, can feel like a panic attack or like you are dying. People under stress on a daily basis are overusing (often running out) of adrenal hormones and tend to get overtired, exhausted, yet somehow muster the energy to keep going until they collapse. People raised in Euro-centric culture tend to keep working until they drop.
The body needs balance. The above scenario just isn’t healthy! The calming parasympathetic nervous system acts opposite the stress system by dropping heart rate and blood pressure, and deepening breathing as it does when preparing us for rest or sleep. Depending on cultural demand to keep working for money which we need for our next goal, allowing our minds to shut off can be really difficult. Over the long-run, this doesn’t allow us to get the rest we need to carry on at a steady pace.
Using mindfulness, you can learn to calm yourself and reduce the unhealthy impacts of stress.Mindful Practice
- being in the present intentionally and without judgment
- calms us in the face of stress
- helps address and accept unresolved life-events
For more on living mindfully, visit my blog and use www.keltymentalhealth.ca/mindfulness-recordings.
To make sense of things, notice your senses.
“Allow your experience to be there, notice your mind has wandered, gently notice your breath.”