Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
— Oprah Winfrey
Once upon a time we had a different kind of stress in our lives. Our ancestors knew this feeling as fight or flight. Most of us in the modern world can’t relate to this stress. We aren’t chased by predators on a daily basis or in danger of freezing to death if the fire goes out. However, our flight or fight response is a natural one and it is short-lived.
Modern stress is far more invasive and insidious. It creeps into our lives and tries to consume us. Deadlines stare us in the face every time we open an email. Text messages are a constant source of “Do it now” anxiety. With COVID-19, work has invaded our home life and taken on a new constant in our lives. We worry about family, friends and strangers as never before.
But stress isn’t all bad. That fight or flight response helps keep us on our toes mentally and physically. It provides us with a healthy dose of adrenaline which keeps us alert and prepared for any challenge.
How we respond to stress, on the other hand, can create issues with our ability to cope with those stressors and may even affect our long-term health – both mental and physical. Because stress isn’t just an “in the moment” issue. The after-effects of stress can linger in our bodies for days or weeks. Our white blood cell counts, which affect our body’s ability to fight off disease and viruses, can decrease with prolonged stress. And stress can lead to a host of unhealthy habits which include lack of physical activity, poor diet and sleep issues.
Traditional Medicine and acupuncture has helped people cope with stress for more than two millennia. Stress has a particularly profound effect on the kidneys and adrenals. Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine can help restore the Qi (“chee”) of these organs and that can leave you feeling more relaxed, in control and able to cope with the daily challenges of life.
So, to fight stress, do the following:
Meditate. Even a few minutes a day will make a big difference. Eat well. Make time for yourself, have some fun, enjoy a laugh with friends! Get your full eight hours of sleep. Nothing is more important than good sleep. And don’t forget to breathe. Just a minute or two every hour of deep breathing can change your life.
Stress Less = Soar More!