Thriving in the midst of uncertainty is the ultimate skill set. Knowing how to deal with prolonged stress is becoming a necessity.
Short stints of stress sharpen our focus, alertness and concentration. Our heart beats faster as we rally our entire system for solutions.
These days, however, we’re finding ourselves in longer periods of stress. This is not natural for our system. Our Sympathetic nervous system is activated by stress. Adrenalin and noradrenalin cause a contraction of blood vessels, as well as a lack of oxygen and glucose for our neocortex (seat of clever decision making). Our ability to think creatively gets blocked and we go into tunnel vision. On top of all this, Cortisol weakens our immune system.
Stress has been a big part of my life, anxiety was a later addition – probably to increased periods of stress. So I had to figure out how to deal with prolonged stress AND happily graduate from the lesson(s) involved !
My work is all about mindset training because I have needed that myself. Luckily, it works. So rather than numbing out or a medicated approach which feels like adding a bandaid to the wound, what I will be sharing in this post will require some work from you. The goal is to get to the bottom of the issue, and heal it once and for all.
It is never what is actually happening in our world that is the problem. Rather, it’s our perception of it. That’s the good news. We get to change our mind about the experience, find the lesson in it and win the gold ! Doesn’t that sound good ?
Sometimes, the issue is multi-layered. So you’ll reach a great milestone and then, find yourself having to re-visit the same issue again. That process can be ongoing for a while but from each hiccup, you will emerge feeling stronger and more empowered.
I’ve had to work on quite a few issues and as I at last, reach graduation, I realize how intertwined the whole thing was. Life is super clever in how it orchestrates our healing. All it asks from us is an open mind and a genuine willingness to overcome the challenges.
The School of Life
No matter how successful you are, Life has lessons to teach. It’s the school of Life. And each one of us has a personalised curriculum based on the journey we chose. Some are here to learn about anger management, others are here to learn about relationships and others are here to overcome addiction. It’s so personal… But you’ll know your thing(s) by how often it pops up.
Life is a series of ebbs and flows. Just like in the education world, children sometimes plateau, or even take a step back, before the next spike up. So during the struggle moments, it’s super important to remind yourself that “this too shall pass.”
In my experience, it passes more swiftly as we become open-minded to the lesson it’s teaching us. Life is never out to get you. On the contrary, it’s working on your behalf – helping you unravel fear, so you can RISE to become the full version of yourself. We are here to remember who we are, master ourselves and shine our light to uplift the world with us.
How to deal with prolonged stress
The only constant in Life is change. Becoming flexible to change is an art. And like all art, the more we practice, the better we become. Right ?
So, today, I’m sharing with you ways that you can start a practice of your own. You can pick and choose which tools you like best and then implement them as habits. Try to get to the stage where these 5 are just part of your Life.
It takes 40 days for a new habit to kick in, so keep going. If you skip a day, start a new 40 day practice the next day again. All in good time. Trust Life 🌟
1. Just Breathe
I often talk about meditation in this blog. It’s because it’s been a life changer for me. Ideas have been whispered to me in the silence. The breathing has calmed me in the scariest of moments. And the grace with which I can handle Life’s challenges is just priceless.
Research continues to confirm its beneficial effects on brain health, general healing and overall wellbeing.
I’ve been meditating daily for a decade now and I can honestly attribute my perfect health and the apparition of Everything I have needed every step of the way to this practice.
Start today. Start right now. Close your eyes and breathe…
2. Focus on your goals instead of the fear
The brain’s default setting is fear. It’s our survival instincts from way back when tigers were jumping out of trees… These days, any fear thought can spiral someone into fight, flight or freeze mode.
The good news is that we get to choose how to focus our mind. Meditation will help you uncover the fear records that are running the show for you… And from there, you can bust those limiting beliefs, one by one.
When you stay focused on your goals, you override fear. And this will allow you to take more empowered action steps, which in turn, will offer better results.
3. Interrupt Anxiety with Gratitude
You can’t be in fear and appreciating Life at the same time.The brain works on repetition and you can rewire it to become more positive by regularly focusing on the blessings, Train your mind to see the good in everything… Silver linings.
And make it a daily practice to write down what you are grateful for. The fact that you are reading this means that you have wifi and a device and therefore much to be grateful for.
Appreciate Every little ray of sunshine. Let music help you raise the energy to deal with prolonged stress. Try Bob Marley with his Three Little Birds !
Start this exercise by writing down 150 things for which you are grateful. I know it sounds like a lot, but you’d be amazed how it flows once you start
4. Scent of your dreams
This one is fun ! For me, it’s patchouli. Find the fragrance you Love Love Love. And then, when you get out of the shower or bath, smell it whilst thinking of your greatest desires. Link the scent to your dream so when you’re visualizing, you’re adding an extra layer to your senses.
As your vision begins to feel real, the brain will speed up the manifestation for you. Plus, scents can be so relaxing.
Try Amber, Bergamot, Cedar, Jasmine, Lavender, Musk, Roses, Vanilla and so many more. Frankincense is super relaxing.
5. Sleep hygiene for dealing with prolonged stress
This one has been my biggest challenge. And it’s such an important one to help us deal with prolonged stress. Lack of sleep leads to poor memory, poor judgement, poor impulse control and suppressed immunity.
When I returned to London (from NYC), I stayed on American time zone. At first, chatting with the US and then I realised, I was emotionally still there. More about that in my next book !
Suffice to say, it took a lot – and I mean A LOT – for me to correct that sleep habit.
I got hooked to my work as a first step to releasing attachment. And then eventually, weaned myself off the screens.
Recently, with the world going upside down, I started waking up at 3 am on the dot. I was so good at managing my stress during the day that the subconscious had to wake me up at night to realise that the fear was still lurking within.
Here are my tips for you on this one:
- Unplug early, don’t go back to the screens after dinner
- Finish eating about 3 hours before going to sleep
- Dim the lights as you prepare for bed
I’m glad to say, after much prayer and dealing with feeling the feelings, I am now sleeping like a baby again 💖
When we re-organise old stories, we change the feelings in our body.
This translates into perfect health, loving relationships and all sorts of Abundance:
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