Stress is not all bad. We actually need some stress, as Hans Selye (who coined the term as it is currently used and is well known for his stress research) noted, “Without stress, there would be no life.”
However, when life’s stress goes in to overload and we have one stressor on top of another, with no recovery time, that is a different story. Stress can come from your job or family life, feelings of being overwhelmed and traumas (current and past) can all be “upsetting” to us. Constant information pouring in from all areas of your life many times will find you in your head, thinking, planning and preparing for what you anticipate is going to happen. This anticipation forces us to loose the connection with the present moment and the wisdom centers, key centers specifically placed throughout our bodies. Stress these days, seems to sweep us away from the present moment and cause even more havoc in our bodies than we may realize.
Our Nervous System can get stuck in the flight – flight – freeze mode and we may feel upset or on guard at all times, unable to truly rest and relax. This “upset” can take the form of headaches, numbness in arms, hands, legs or feet. Or possibly “Having an upset stomach” / “nervous stomach”, unending mind chatter, a feeling of anxiousness deep within, or perhaps a feeling of being unsafe in the world.
How do you navigate these stress induced situations in life?
Take a deep breath and drop in to your body –
the deep, quiet and clear space waiting for you.
Find a quiet place, get yourself as comfortable as you can, and begin:
- Focus solely on your breathing – the in and out movement of your breath, allowing this simple act to be your only focus. Quieting your mind and only paying attention to your breath.
- Now, notice where you feel sensations in your body … feeling into the area(s) and truly getting a sense of what the discomforts are related to:
- Perhaps your discomfort is a tightness in your chest, or an ache in your upper back. The Heart Wisdom area. As you continue to only focus on your breathing it may become evident that the physical discomfort you are feeling is actually related to a confrontation you had earlier in the day with your partner!
Consider some chest/ heart opening stretches to welcome in growth and a better understanding of your relationships in life. Click here for a yoga pose option.
- When your attention goes to your gut, or digestion, you may feel “queasy” or actually find yourself visiting the facilities more than usual. This is your Gut Wisdom area speaking to you. Remember, from a previous gut wisdom post, “the gut has an instinctual knowing that is faster and far more accurate than the brain when we are hyper-vigilant and running on past memories.” What are you meant to hear from your gut, that will help you in this current situation?
Try a cup of hot tea with a slice of fresh ginger root, or dried chamomile flowers, may be just the trick to calm and soothe your digestive system as you move forward listening to the innate wisdom your body is sharing with you.
- Are your hips and pelvis where your focus goes? Welcome to your Pelvic Wisdom area, a major “Power Center” in our body. It involves creativity and collaboration. Therefore, it deals with our relationships and how we process the emotions involved in interacting with others. Remembering … If our emotions are allowed to flow, we can better process, integrate or let go of experiences and the emotional connection we have given to them.
Consider doing pelvic tilt exercises or yoga poses to encourage the movement of your pelvis to help free up your pelvis and your emotions! (you may want to try a gentle cat / cow yoga posture, this pose can also be done sitting in a chair as noted in the link provided – though I do not recommend overly arching your upper or lower back and potentially causing more muscular strain.)
- If your focus is in the Feet and Legs Wisdom area, consider taking a walk allowing activation and things will have shifted once you arrive back from the walk.
When you get moving the right and left hemispheres in your brain connect and pass information across the corpus callosum (the connection between the two sides of your brain) which may bring you a previously unknown and effective strategy to improve your situation when you return from your walk!
- When you find yourself connecting with the Bone Wisdom area – Remember from that blog post … “The bones offer an inner sanctum to rest, so that clarity can emerge when you need it the most. Like trees, our bones stand strong in the winds of change and help us to see more clearly what is best for us, especially at the soul level.” –Suzanne Scurlock, CMT”
As we listen to the wisdom held in our bones we become more acutely aware of ourselves and the lives we have lead, as well as the importance of one of the foundations our body has as a support structure and a resource. Personally, I find this wisdom area usually requires the assistance of a trusted bodyworker, specifically a craniosacral therapist.
Practicing focusing on the specific wisdom area by imaging / pre-living the circumstance and being centered in your bones. All the while realizing you can then take a breath and you do not need to react.
- If you find yourself more focused on your Brain Wisdom area, hopefully you are even more aware of “When your integrated brain is partnered with the other key wisdom areas, the fight – flight – freeze response to a trauma (or a challenge) can be gently held in a loving, healing way that allows for integration and transformation to take place. Allowing a deep sense of peace and joy, all the while allowing the brain to be of service to the soul quality of who you are.”
Our body is our own personal wellspring. A infinite source of information, and healing, just waiting for us to become aware, “tune in” to truly listen to what it has to tell us!