MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “stress”

A rollercoaster that ends in tears

Our hectic daily lives cause a lot of stress. Or perhaps we allow our circumstances to stress us out. Almost constantly. And over anything/everything.

Stress is not an easy emotion to control.

Neither is anger, which most often comes as a consequence of the aforementioned anguish.

When we feel angry, frustrated, irritated, unjustly treated, hurt, or simply exhausted with everything and everyone, our body produces a flood of hormones that stimulate strong reactions – from a racing heart to sweaty palms, dry mouth, and short-term memory loss. Tempers flare, voice decibels increase, and soon it all elevates out of control.

And then, when it becomes too much, we often feel the need to cry.

Tears from anger are a powerful emotional response to high stress levels – a mixture of feeling mad and sad simultaneously.

“Tearful crying is a uniquely human activity, and scientists believe it may serve an evolutionary function: a distress signal used to summon help and provoke helping behaviours in others. Crying releases oxytocin and prolactin, two chemicals that can bring your heart rate down and otherwise calm you after a stressful event”.

That explains why after a heated discourse, and a meltdown of tears, you feel the urge for silence, isolation, and mostly, comfort.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that ends in tears. Ones that are therapeutic enough to restore the balance we need to feel sane, mentally healthy, and strong enough to go on with life itself.

Sleep on it

There are many reasons to list as to what keeps you up at night. Environmental factors, too much stress, over-exposure to screens, jet lag, heavy food, medicine, or uncomfortable conditions are among them.

Romanticists claim you lie awake because you appear in someone else’s dream.

But in essence, we can’t sleep because we subconsciously burden ourselves with too many thoughts. We won’t allow ourselves to let go of everything that troubles our brains during the day. Consequently, we can’t find that much required peace to relax, to breathe out and alleviate the pressure we exert on ourselves.

We need constructive outlets to enable our minds to wander. To stop thinking for a while. To simply get lost in the moment.

Some would suggest meditation, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, and it requires great effort.

A more feasible solution is a walk on the beach, or even a dive into the sea. Salty water helps in washing away the problems, which we often create ourselves. It will get us feeling refreshed, relaxed, and revived. An essential process in assisting us to gather the courage to face everything that is causing us the initial stress.

We need to find time to escape our worries, if we are to find the strength to effectively deal with them. We can’t sleep on the decisions we need to make, if we can’t fall asleep to begin with.

The choice of a day

Beautiful days are a matter of choice. Each day is what it comes and what we make of them. Be it bright or rainy, cloudy or sunny, dull or exciting, monotonous or overwhelming, we are the ones who ultimately decide how we pass those hours we have.

Unfortunately, we waste most of them. We use up time by overthinking too much, by stressing about trivial stuff, by creating scenarios that will never play out. And we fail to see the beauty of what lies before us in every single moment.

Life is but a series of fleeting instances. And if we’re not too careful, we may just miss out on most of them because we’re too worried about what might happen instead of what is occurring right there, in this very minute.

In the end, we are the ones who choose our own state of mind, the thoughts we allow to override us, and the extent to which we enjoy each moment.

The way we feel about it all

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/sites/thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/files/feelings.jpg

We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

Get out of your head

The reason we trouble ourselves is because we prioritise one thought over another. And that former one is usually a source of negativity and hypothetical scenarios that may never even play out. We need to get out of our heads and live in the moment. To appreciate what we truly have now, we need to stop dwelling on the ‘ifs’”.

She looked at him silent.

He was right. But she was too stubborn to admit it.

He gazed into her eyes transmitting a calmness that radiated from the depths of his soul. Even his breathing held a tranquil rhythm. She could feel the serenity soothing her. How could she remain angry at him? And for no apparent reason.

There are so many problems in the world. Serious ones. We don’t need to create more with our minds”, he said opening up his arms to embrace her in a forget-it-all-and-let-it-go hug.

Still she said nothing.

But she smiled, and her eyes lit up.

She loved him for this. For being able to comprehend her mood swings and loving her regardless.

Work and play

© David Stewart

I have to work”, he said springing out of bed with a look of utter distress. The anguish of being behind schedule for all his deliveries fed his insomnia for days.

The weekend retreat did not help at all. The days were OK as long as they were walking outside in the fresh air. But his mind was constantly pounded by the professional obligations he had yet to fulfil.

I know, but first you need to fuel yourself with some energy,” she replied to him tentatively placing a tray filled with a rich breakfast.

He couldn’t refuse the care received.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Reaction to life

Stress is your body’s way of activating your flight-or-fight response to a perceived state of danger. It causes your senses to go on alert, often resulting in convulsive – irrational – reactions, heightened adrenaline, faster heartbeats, and increased breathing rates, as well as altering your food digestion and consequently your glucose levels. Stress has multiple effects on our body, many of which we are hardly aware of.

It’s easy to advise a person not to stress. What is not easy, is to actually follow that advice.

You may have heard/read it before from so many sources nowadays: stress is a fear reaction to life and life’s constant changes. To manage it, we need to equate stress with fear and then begin to eliminate fear from our lives. We need to wonder why are we in fact so afraid? Why do we so passively give our power away? William James had said that “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over the other”. Because in essence, what causes our bpm to rise is in fact our own thoughts. If we replace the constricting and fearing thoughts we allow to invade our heads with positive and empowering affirmations – keeping it cool and focused – will actually allow us to reach what Louise Hay describes as “the totality of possibilities”. If you let your mind go beyond what you think is possible, you open yourself up to a myriad of options and potential.

What is interesting is the fact that many of us create the ideas we have about life by the time we are 5 years old. And from then on we live in the limitations created by our 5-year old consciousness, often stopping us from experiencing all that we could or desire. It is our own excuses, beliefs and limitations that obstruct our way. We have the option of either accepting them or overcoming them and moving beyond what we think is possible. Because it’s all in our head.

Anger is a significant form of stress.

One of the best advice on learning to alleviate it is what is termed as the “5-minute rule”. You should not spend more than 5 minutes stressing over something or being angry. Give yourself five timed minutes to vent, to moan, to scream, to let it all out. But afterwards, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that you cannot change what has already happened, so there is no value in wishing it were different.

Put simply: deal with it, and move on. Otherwise your just wasting your energy and time.

It’s not so easy to do. But it’s definitely worth a try. And if you keep at it, you’ll eventually get there.

That inconspicuous dark cloud

It arrives abruptly and sits upon your shoulder silently at first. But then it grows heavier and you begin to feel the burden of carrying it. It grows darker the bigger it becomes and it’s even more difficult to shake it off.

Stress is like a black cloud. Inconspicuous upon arrival but may be lethal if prolonged.

We know it’s bad for us, yet we continue to fall victim to it.

We even know all the remedies for it too: meditation, deep breaths, organisation, priorities, etc etc.

But the one thing no one seems to be able to understand is that by telling someone “not to stress” does not solve absolutely anything. It simply elongates the circumstances that lead to the anxiety and nervousness in the first place.

It’s not about advice when it comes to ‘solving’ stress.

It’s about finding things and people around you that can help you get rid of that black cloud on your shoulder, simply by being too busy enjoying other things that you forget it’s even there.

Writing down the truths we cannot say

https://www.hawkwoodcollege.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Writing-Nature-Copy-2-800x600.jpeg

It is often urged as a step to healing to write down your emotions, your thoughts, everything you keep inside. It is believed that putting the thoughts inside your head on paper is actually a therapeutic form of tension release. The toxins that you keep locked inside will flow via ink on paper and relieve you from the stress.

But it is also a way of getting to terms with a truth you keep concealed even from yourself.

There are so many things going on inside our minds that we tell no one. Sometimes we don’t even admit them to ourselves.

And often that is what hurts us the most. Failure to acknowledge facts keeps our emotions perplexed and maintains our mood in a complex state.

In short, we cannot fix what we do not accept.

So we are urged to write.

We write down made-up stories to tell the truths we wish we could say out loud.

And in these, we hope to find some consolation, some relief, some healing.

The quiet friend

©MCD_Bruno

He sat there quietly. Always on the same spot on the couch where she paused for a rest from her tiring and incessant schedule.

She lightened up every time she saw him. And when they hugged, she would inhale deeply letting out a faint sigh with that exhale.

He had a way of easing the tension she inexplicably carried on her shoulders. She burdened herself with too much stress for her own good. Even he could see it.

But it was enough for him that he made her smile. And that, even if just for a little while, she would let her troubles slip away from her mind. For those few seconds she could empty her head. She found comfort in him and was grateful for his presence.

Even if he didn’t say much. Or anything at all for that matter.

It would be a little strange if he did.

After all, he was just a fluffy teddy bear.

But the person who gifted it to her knew he was much more.

Post Navigation