Supporting your 'Life Wheel'
by Claire Noyelle from Inspired To Change Maidstone East
We all know how it feels. We all know it can be bad for us.
But what, biologically and emotionally is stress?
From an evolutionary perspective, stress is a very modern concept. Our caveman ancestors didn’t experience the stress the way we do now. Their knowledge of stress would have been limited to fear over a predator attacking, not finding enough food, or shelter, or being faced with a rival tribe.
So the way their bodies adapted to deal with stress was to flood their body with ‘emergency’ hormones like adrenaline. This quickens our breathing in order to get extra oxygen; raises our heart rate to get that oxygen in the blood to muscles to be able to run away or fight, and switches off our digestion - no need to digest that last meal right now.
We don’t have to run away from rival tribesmen these days, or fight off a sabre-toothed tiger, yet anyone who has experienced a panic attack or anxiety will relate to that pounding heart, rapid breathing and queasy churning stomach only too well!
Our world today may be very different but our bodies have retained that emergency setting, and our brain now activates it in times of what it perceives as ‘threat’, albeit of a less physical sort.
I explain it to my clients as us having a bucket in our brain, into which we put all the negative things and thoughts in our day - little niggles like losing car keys, missing our bus or running out of loo roll. The bucket might also already contain bigger things - old events, such as trauma and bereavements.
Our brain is isolated from the world in its bony box so it can’t distinguish what’s really happening from what is merely our imagination in action. This means we can also put future concerns - fears of redundancy, or illness perhaps - into the bucket.
In the same way, we can add regret, guilt and worry over past events - large or small - into the bucket, too!
Can you see how it gets filled up quickly?
To your brain, a full bucket must equate to an imminent threat, so it turns on that old, primitive caveman setting to help us deal with the situation, not knowing, caring or understanding that we aren’t in that world anymore.
Breathing fast or having a pounding heart doesn’t help us deal with that overflowing inbox, or looming deadline; it just makes us feel awful.
So how do we change things?
1) We empty the bucket.
We do this while we sleep, so decent quality sleep is essential. If it’s really full, that might take a while, so in the meantime.....
2) We put less in the bucket, to keep it that way.
This means deliberately trying not to think negatively, and shift our attention to good things - our achievements and positives in our environment.
To find out more about how Hypnotherapy can help you to empty YOUR bucket and sleep better, why not book a free one to one consultation with me, I’d love to tell, you more! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07712220880
Until then, you can lower today’s stress levels by checking out my free relaxation audio here. Best wishes Claire