I have a friend who is fostering some sweet babies and they tend to come back from parent visitations rather upset, unsettled and restless. While I’ve been bringing over food, done a few overnight shifts (which once again elevates my awe for parents) I realized I could share some things I do to calm my system with her, the babies and now you, along with a little behind the scenes info about what that stress is doing to that sweet body and brain of yours.
What's up Doc?
During the stress causing moments/event- your spirit wants to leave the building, your body can constrict and your brain wants to control- all of this makes sense. Just imagine the gazelle being chased by the cheetah. Laser focused on survival, the gazelle is in serious fight or flight mode: adrenaline and cortisol coursing through its body to give it that boost to escape the cheetah. Same thing happens to humans except many of us have done this crazy adaptation where we pretend its not stressful! And our brain adapts to this, our amygdala- the part of our brain that is involved in the processing of our emotions (think anger, fear, joy) learns our pattern is to shove it down, go over it and so it adapts and clamps down on these emotions- rather than feeling them and all of those emotions get built up. So tune in to what stressful things are in your life: unrealistic demands at work, a bully in your life, your commute, a jam packed schedule…got one? Okay, now you what’s happening behind the scenes…what can you do about it?
Here are some tips for reclaiming peace, balance and serenity:
Get back in your body. During the stress take some deep breaths, feel your body your feet on the ground, connected to earth- get the energy downward, away from the anxiousness in your head. If you’re sitting in a chair – feel you butt in the seat, get your feet on the floor. Speak your truth, set a boundary if necessary. This can help minimize the stress.
Lavender oil. Put lavender oil on your wrists and take in a few deeps breaths. This is a calming agent. Also wonderful to put a few drops in your bath.
Imitate kids. Feel it, get it out of your system, preferably in the moment or as soon as possible and then you are on to the next thing! Emotions are energy and when they go unfelt they get trapped in our body, creating disease and out of balance systems. So feel your feelings. Cry, say how are feeling out loud, don't analyze for awhile, welcome in the feelings and love them up. Keep the energy flowing.
Epsom Salt baths help absorb and change the energy ions and get the toxic energy out of your system and relax muscles. Light some candles, put on some quiet music and put 2 cups in your bath (1/3 cup for babies and make sure they don’t swallow it!) Create a soothing environment for your body and mind.
Music. Listen to soothing tunes to calm your system. Some of my favorites include George Winston’s December, cello music, ocean sounds, the Out of Africa Soundtrack and guitar music. There are plenty of Pandora stations and Spotify playlists as well. I love music for soothing my sweet system.
Other times I want to rock and roll that crap outta me! I put on some rage tunes and dance and scream and move it out!!! Put on some def leopard do some screaming, moving and shaking and then put on the George Winston to calm you system down.
Take a stroll in nature. Nature is an incredible healer. Breathe in the air, hug a tree, imagine the sun nourishing you, the earth holding you steady and supporting you. Take in the beauty of a flower, hear the birds…all of this helps soothe your system.
Routine and rhythm are magical elixirs for the soul. As you start doing these things on a more consistent basis you are teaching your system it’s safe and will be taken care of. That you aren’t going to bulldoze through this stress and pretend you’re not on high alert with cortisol and adrenaline coursing through your body. Your body, mind and spirit know you will take care of them and even better, that you are taking steps to alleviate the stress in your life.
What can you do today to limit the stress in your life? Where are you accepting stress that is unacceptable? You get to turn the tables on stress. Have fun reclaiming your peace and dancing in your car.