It’s not one thing that creates stress… it’s a whole bunch of things that build up. Little things that pile on until we are over our edge.
Right now, the world is mired in all sorts of concerns. We all are feeling it. Climate change—which they just should have called Global Weirding and no one would have debated it! The mass shooting of innocent people. The Stock Market in a tizzy. Too many to mention. It’s way capable of frazzling our nerves!
But of course, there is also whatever your triggers are! Little things like health, making money, relationships, the car breaking down. ‘Tis never-ending!
The real problem for us all is that our biology is behind the times. It hasn’t caught up and probably won’t, based on the speed of change these days. Our bodies evolved to use ‘stress’ as a way of getting our attention and focus when bad things were about to happen. Things like a lion or a pack of hyenas running toward us. One of the evolutionary fixes for coping with danger is the fight-or-flight response, a physiological reaction to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
To simplify the result let’s just say we go into hyperdrive. The “Danger, Danger, Will Robinson” alerts kick in and carry us away. There are all sorts of things going on in our bodies and minds, not the least of which is we lose our peripheral vision, and can’t hear—which explains why when in an argument you often find someone saying: “Don’t you hear me?” Actually, they don’t, and they won’t until they have calmed down which will take between 20 to 60 minutes after they have stopped stressing.
This has been going on for quite a while. In 1910 Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem “If”, which started with “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” So it’s not new.
The real point is how do we manage the stress? How do we keep the deep mire of it from sneaking up on us? There are so many stress factors bombarding us every day that it is prudent to get ahead of it. Don’t wait! Create your own pockets of peace now!
There are all sorts of ways to build your capacity for dealing with the vast, never-ending triggers we experience every day. In my search for balance, it’s the little things that are the most effective for me. I’m being purposeful in creating what I call “Pockets of Peace”. Some examples I’ve been trying include:
- Time swimming—being in the quiet of the water
- Muting the ‘ads’ on the TV—otherwise thought of as ‘limiting white noise’
- Reading books that take me away, and are NOT scary
- Petting the ‘purr machine’—otherwise known as the cat
There are lots and lots of possibilities. There are only two things to keep in mind:
- Have some techniques that work for your own stress reduction in the moment
- Have some everyday practices that build calm and peace as a preventative measure
Unfortunately, we can’t actually eliminate stress, what we can do is make choices about how we handle and manage it! Find the ones that work for you… it’s crucial, especially now!
Shell Tain, the Untangler
If you need a bit of support finding those pockets of peace give me a call at 503-258-1630 or leave a comment.