An Antidote for stress…. As the Holiday season is upon us.
Tis the season of goodwill and happiness, yet December is the month couples and families argue the most. The gap between hope and reality is a destroyer. Christmas and birthdays are breeding grounds for disappointment, disappointment leads to conflict. Because you look for someone to blame. The concentration of time spent together, social interaction, habits and annoying peculiarities that are tolerable, even charming usually can quickly turn toxic when you are together 24/7. Minor irritations may be blown out of all proportion. Any change in your circumstances can trigger anxiety.
Stress can be caused by physiological, psychological, emotional and behavioural responses when a person attempts to adapt and adjust internal or external pressures and demands, leading to a fight or flight reaction. Internal pressures include thoughts, feelings, memories, images, while external pressures are the demands from the world, including your access to support, friends, family, job, and community, to name a few.
Your stress response has evolved to help you take action when needed. The stress response, is a design of nature and natural selection to save your life when faced by immediate, mostly physical crisis. The appropriate action would be to run away or stand and fight. Thankfully this stress response is not suited to the types of stress you encounter daily. The stress response was designed to be short lived, when it is turned on for long periods of time, it becomes damaging. Stress can cause you to make mistakes when you think in extremes. You may find yourself blaming the cause of your discontent on your job, relationship, or the people you live with. Remember that job or relationship is ideal.
Tips for avoiding stress & arguments During the Holidays
If you want to enjoy your break, and return with some tangible and realistic ideas for positive change:
1 Remember the issues you face on holiday are largely the same ones you deal with at home. Expect that they will crop up, so they do not overshadow everything else. Especially when you are put in a room filled with people you only see once a year. The gap between your perceptions of your family and your partner’s is usually considerable. The way your parents relate will have provided you with a template, consciously or unconsciously, for the way you form and behave in relationships. There is no getting away from family, even when they are hundreds of miles away. If you are in a blended family, take all these difficulties and multiply them by 10
2 Postpone arguments. If a conversation starts to get heated, try saying something like: “If we carry on with this conversation it’ll turn into an argument. Let’s not spoil the day. Shall we drop it for now and pick it up again when we both have time to talk things through” Very few arguments suffer from being postponed; most of the time you will not feel care enough to revisit it at a later date.
3 Give up the blame game. If you are unkind to yourself and criticizing yourself, by extension you will be unkind to your partner. If you want to maintain a strong and healthy, being kind to yourself and your partner is one of the first places to start.
4 Take time out. It is unfair on your partner to constantly check work emails while you are supposed to be spending quality time together. Turn off the phone or laptop, if you really must check in with work schedule an hour in the morning or evening to focus on it so it does not detract from the rest of your time together.
5 Schedule some ‘Me’ time. If you are busy you may not be used to living in each other’s pockets. Make time to pursue your own interests. A morning swim or an afternoon stroll round the area or local shops can give you some much needed space. Stress may be experienced as feelings of being overloaded, of being tense, too wound-up or preoccupied by worries. There an antidote. Having something planned for just yourself or with your partner once all the entertaining is over can support yourself and your relationship over the Holiday period.
Do You Suffer from Stress?
Experiencing stress is common, yet considering the damage that long term stress does to your physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing, as well as the detrimental effects it has on relationships, do you accept that stress is a part of life, or is there something you can do about it? A mild degree of stress is indeed useful to motivate us to take the necessary action, but if it continues unabated you spend more time being pushed around by the stress response and less time taking effective action. You can become trapped in unhelpful ruminative loops which is overwhelming the more you think about a stresses, the more you stimulate the stress response, stimulating more thoughts and more stress. the stresses never really go away. Your stress response is permanently turned on or running on autopilot in the background. The stress response is exhausting your mind/ body if continuously or frequently activated. What you are essentially doing is living life as if you are constantly responding to a crisis, a crisis that has no end. This is damaging psychologically, emotionally and physically, symptoms include chronic fatigue, sleep disruption, muscle atrophy, adult onset diabetes, cardiovascular damage, ulcers, digestive, reproductive problems, and more.
Putting on the Brakes
Your nervous systems can be divided into two main parts central nervous system that encompasses the brain and spinal cord. peripheral nervous system encompassing the nerve tissue outside of the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system consists of two main parts – the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is centrally involved in the stress response. Its mechanisms are automatic, happening outside of your conscious awareness. Broadly, it is a system that it either designed to speed things up or slow things down. An analogy of this system is that of a car the accelerator and the brakes. The stress response essentially pushes hard on the accelerator; you need to learn how to apply the brakes in your body so that you can slow down or even stop the effects of stress. The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is the accelerator, while the parasympathetic branch is the braking system.
Practising compassion can play a powerful role in halting the effects of stress, bringing a sense of balance to life. Compassion changes the relationship that you have with others and yourself, moving from criticism towards understanding and kind encouragement, fundamentally changing the way you deal with yourself and others when things go wrong. It has important consequences for how you guide yourself towards balance.
Join me for The perfect antidote after the Hoildays to help you restore your Mind and Body.
The next Living from The Heart retreat will guide you through a process of deep restoration through mind / body techniques that will help you shift stress states into vitality and help you find balance to further cultivate your healing journey. Why go on a retreat?
Restoring the Mind and Body Retreat 29th – 31st January 2016 This 3-day retreat is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquil Chess Valley where you can move to a slower rhythm of nature to restore the Mind, Spirit and Body.
The perfect antidote for stressed out individuals and couples. The Living from The Heart program will guide you through a process of deep restoration through mind / body techniques that will help you shift stress states into vitality and help you find balance to further cultivate your healing journey.
Check in from 3pm on Friday, Depart on Sunday at 4pm includes full board accomodation and all group sessions. Early Bird Booking £395 per person book before 30th November 2015 usual price is £425 per person based on shared occupancy.