We all have it, in one form or another.
It’s the irregular heartbeat.
It’s the palm sweating, head pounding, vision blurring out of control feeling.
It’s the difference between fight or flight.
It’s the voice we hear late at night reminding us of all the things we forgot to worry about earlier in the day.
It’s the start of anxiety.
It goes hand in hand with anxiety, in fact you can’t have one without the other – a little like love and marriage.
It is a silent killer.
It is the extra bags under the eyes.
It is the extra lines carved deep into your forehead.
It pushes into your mind forcing you to spend time thinking, worrying, over analyzing the things you cannot change or worse, creating problems which may never arise.
There’s so many different levels of it; that no two peoples tipping point are the same.
It can make your stomach so tight that you can overeat or forget to eat.
It makes adrenaline pump through your veins for no reason other than panic.
It breeds panic.
It breeds panic in situations or places where there is no reason to be panicked.
It is exhausting.
It’s a mood changer, game changer and life changer.
It stops you.
It stalls you.
It hurts you; physically and mentally.
Yes, it is indeed something everyone knows a little about.
I know stress.
We have a relationship which is ever changing.
Stress brought anxiety, fear and of course good old panic into my life.
Stress never arrives alone. Stress dabbles in depression too for she is a merciless piece of work.
Stress has for a long time now, been taking over my everyday thoughts, actions and reactions.
Recently, however, I was given an opportunity to meet my stress and her friends face to face.
I have been meeting with stress, anxiety and panic regularly; this time when I summon them.
I’m getting to know what they want, how they work and how I can work with them.
There is no way to get rid of stress and her mates but there are a number of ways to manage them.
I started a mindfulness course.
I am really enjoying it and finding that if I understand my own personal triggers, I can talk myself down before stress brings her mate anxiety to the party.
I meditate daily.
I take time to just breathe.
I am beginning to see the trees without the fog.
Stress and I are indeed forever intertwined ; but it is only now that I understand why she is here with me.
Stress is something which can take over your life ; I believe the key is not to ignore her but to accept her and take time to be in the now with her. She tends to quieten down when I take the time to reason with her.
Stress doesn’t really like the ‘now’ ; well, my stress doesn’t. She would much rather I panic over something that may or may not happen in a few months or even years time.
Anxiety and panic attacks are also very much in my life thanks to Ms Stress ; but they too quieten down when faced with a calm mind and some deep breathing.
For anyone experiencing heavy amounts of stress , I would recommend to look up some mindfulness courses in your area or online.
There’s no shame in needing medication to help balance yourself too ; I have written before about having to take anxiety meds which have also helped me hugely along with mindfulness
This month is Stress Awareness month ; let’s hear it for all of us battling it daily .
This was originally published on Firefly