Want Lasting Stress Relief? Then you need to know these extra factors.
If You want lasting stress relief then you need to know about these additional factors that contribute to stress.
Have you repeatedly been told about,
- All the many research papers that indicate that people who meditate regularly have lower levels of stress, anxiety, and worry.
- Brain imaging studies have shown that meditation calms the anterior cingulate and basal ganglia, which reduces worries and provides a sense of relaxation.
- that stress is one of the most common triggers for overeating and other negative health reducing behaviours
but you still don’t know how to change the levels of stress that you experience?
Maybe seeing these headings even increases your levels of stress! Maybe you have even tried some meditation, yoga etc only to find no lasting benefit.
Reducing your stress levels is a vital component to being able to change your behaviours, improve your health, reduce inflammation, lower risk of heart attacks, reduced obesity and regain a sense of personal control.
However many people do not know how to begin to generate this kind of change. To begin to understand how to go about living a stress free life it is vital to understand that the various forms of stress and how they influence each other.
There are many forms of Stress.
There is Physical, Nutritional and Emotional stress.
Each of these stresses has a different source, influences each other and need to be addressed in an integrated approach if you want to obtain a lasting change.
Whilst there are many studies that show that focused breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques all reduce stress effects these will in my opinion have little effect if you if your nutrition is poor.
Likewise if your nutrition is really good but you repeatedly run a loop of negative self talk in your head or have poor sleep then you will still be experiencing stress and its effects on your health.
Structural stress such as spinal misalignment, neck tension, poor posture, under or over exercising will affect how your brain functions, your pain or discomfort levels as well as how well your body can utilise the food that you eat.
Lack of sleep is also a form of physical stress primarily which will affect emotional wellbeing though it does crepe hormonal dysfunction resulting in increased risk of obesity and poor body repair and rejuvenation.
Nutritional stress is an often overlooked source of stress and imbalance. It is often only considered in relationship to weight gain, diabetes or heart disease.
What you eat affects not only your general health but also the balance of various stress producing hormones. The composition of your foods also affects your body’s ability to produce the correct balance of brain neurotransmitters to reduce anxiety, depression etc and promote calming reactions, mood enhancement and good sleep.
For example too much carbohydrate and sugar in the absence of adequate protein can affect blood sugar metabolism which in turn starves the brain of vital nutrients. As Dr Daniel Amen in his book Change your Brain to Change your Body says you can literally eat yourself into and out of depression based on what you eat.
Emotional stress primarily is the form of stress that most people associate with.
A quote that accurately depicts the primary cause of stress is,
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.”
— Maureen Killoran
Stress is ultimately created by our perception, which is based on our belief systems.
How we react to a situation is based on our beliefs about that situation. E.g. we all pole who become very stressed driving in heavy slow traffic and those who are completely unaffected by the same traffic.
To begin to change our perception we have to be prepared to observe our individual thinking and to begin to ask ourselves powerful questions of self inquiry.
Some useful questions might be
- What difference will this make in 3 months time whether I… or …?
- Whose judgement am I concerned about?
- Is there a different way that I can look at this?
- Is this belief really true?
- Can I be sure that it is 100% true?
- How would my life/this situation look if I didn’t have this thought?
Observing our thought’s is a side benefit of meditation and I believe brings us to a point of response rather than reaction. Response is something that we can be in control of and is empowering, where as reaction largely comes from a place of perceived powerlessness.
How we think is also significantly affected by the types of food that we eat. A diet high in sugars and carbohydrates can result in swings in blood sugar levels which in turn can lead to cloudy fuzzy thinking, mood swings, and poor memory. In general what is often referred to as “brain fog”.
Our thinking patterns can also be significantly influenced by our subconscious thoughts and beliefs. These generally come from earlier childhood situations or emotional traumas. Understanding how our subconscious brain may be affecting our thinking and clearing unresolved emotions is also important, resulting in lasting stress relief.
More specific information on how you can improve your health, wellness and create lasting emotional wellbeing will be the subject of subsequent blog posts.
I am available for personal consultations at Aireys Inlet, Victoria; from Dec I will also be available in Geelong, as well as being able to conduct phone as Skype consultations for stress management and weight-loss coaching.
As always I am committed to supporting you on your journey to Get well, Stay Well, Live Well and Flourish.
Sonja Gwosdezki D.C
Women’s Wellbeing navigator
Wellbeing Empowerment and Stress Relief Advisor
Sustainable Weight-loss Coach.