Competing demands, rapid speed of information, limitless choices, joyous life events, and multiple challenges can induce a stress response. It may seem daunting to find time for self-care. You may think, “I cannot add one more thing to my daily routine.” The truth is when you allow stress to build up in your body, it can lead to physical, mental, and emotional dis-ease. Where stress hides in your body & how to release it, is simple really, and you can start today!
What Is Stress?
First of all, there are many definitions of stress. Secondly, everyone responds in their unique way to events in your life. Someone may become agitated while waiting in line. Others may occupy themselves on their phone or take a moment to breathe and relax while they wait. Stress is a personal response.
I define stress as any reaction or thought or emotion to an event, person, place, or thing that is not in alignment with you. You may either be surprised by a course of events, want things to be different than they are, or feel powerless to change your circumstances. Stress can come from overthinking, overdoing, and over analyzing your life.
Your Body Is Not Designed to Hold Stress.
Since the beginning of time, man’s physical body has been wired to flush out stress and to neutralize it. The truth is the body seeks homeostasis. This process can prepare you for the next event in your life so that you have a clear mind and an open heart. However, repeated stressful events and unresolved emotions associated with those events can build up in the physical body. The good news is there are many tools to release it.
The Stress Response.
A ‘flight or fight’ response is your body’s ancient strategy to ensure you can use optimal strength to either run or fight. The blood goes to the heart, which you may sense as a rapid heartbeat and energize your muscles. Unfortunately, this same reaction limits your capacity to make well-thought-out decisions and digest food. The blood flow does not go to the brain. Of course, this is the opposite of what you need in the world today when you encounter a stressful situation. Your problem-solving abilities are essential. Long periods of stress affect your ability to digest food properly, too. Chronic stress affects your physical body and energy level in general.
A stress response ignites a cascade of hormones and chemical reactions in the body. Happy as well as tragic events cause this cascade. Consciously your mind receives information or experiences a situation, and your body unconsciously attempts to flush out the charge to neutralize it. An emotion takes 90 seconds to flush out. How do you cooperate with your body’s natural tendency to manage stress?
The Heart’s Response.
The heart, the most precious part of you, receives the stress message, and responds. HeartMath’s research shows how emotions change our heart rhythm patterns. Positive emotions create coherent heart rhythms, which look like rolling hills – it’s a smooth and ordered pattern.
In contrast, negative emotions create chaotic, erratic patterns. Consistent heart rhythm patterns facilitate higher brain function, whereas negative emotions inhibit a person’s ability to think clearly. Coherent heart rhythms also create a feeling of solidity and security.
Where Stress Hides In Your Body?
Although stress may hide in the tissues of your body, it is not so hard to find. When you listen, your body speaks to you. Some of the first signs of stress can be tightening of the throat, shortness of breath, shallow breathing, clumsiness, heart beating fast, nausea, muscle tension, dizziness, and cloudy thinking. Commonly, chronic stress expresses itself as headaches, digestive issues, frequent colds and flu, a rapid heart rate, neck and shoulder pain, and muscle aches.
The body has a language of its own. Your emotions and thoughts can get stuck in different body parts. These specific areas of the body tell a story about you. For example, chronic sinusitis from the book Heal Your Life by Louise Hay can mean that you are irritated with someone close to you.
Sore knees can represent a need for more flexibility in your life. If you take yoga, Pilates or tai chi then you probably heard the instructor suggest you soften your knees. Soft knees allow you to move and sway in life to maintain your balance. A person who has issues with their knees will often want to be right, to fix things, to know why and if possible, control situations. An affirmation such as, “I embrace the flow in my life” can lead to healing the knees.
Stress Diminishes Your Life Force.
Low-frequency thoughts and emotions reduce the flow of life force. A low frequency, for example; can come from overthinking, over worrying and overplaying a feeling from a previous situation. Your body responds as though it is happening now and builds in the body. Stress limits your life force and weighs you down — the sensations of pain, discomfort, or dis-ease in your body resulting from compromised energy flow.
Have you said, “I feel low or down.”? Often when someone feels stuck in life, they can sense that their body feels heavy. As though the gravitational force changed. The heaviness comes from dense energy in the field around the body.
Another example of how your body speaks is through the breath. The breath is the key to all existence. You must breathe to be alive. Shallow breathing does not permit the lungs to expand fully. Thus, not adequately nourishing the body. Why would you limit the flow of oxygen into your body? It is fuel for all your cells. Are you one of those people who breathe as though they are sipping a hot cup of tea?
A Simple Exercise to Release Stress.
First, you must recognize it. So, slow down and pause in your busy day and tune into your body. The key is to release the tension as soon as you are aware that it is building in your system.
· Place your hand on your heart.
· Take a long slow breath and state, “This breath is for me.”
· Breathe in and out slowly as you repeat a mantra, pick one – All is well, I am safe, I am blessed, I am grateful for my life, or choose your own words. A mantra aligns the mind with the breath.
· Now, feel and believe your words with your whole heart at this moment in time. Your body responds to the signals you send it and will relax. The belief in your words resets your physical body. So, be confident as you align your emotions.
· As your body begins to relax through the breath, your words, and a shift in your feelings consciously feel the peace in your heart. Next, with full conscious awareness, send the sensation of peace gently throughout your body. And fill every cell of your body with your truth at the moment. You are safe, and all is well.
A Practice for Specific Areas of Your Body to Release Stress.
· Start with the exercise above. Then with your full conscious awareness focus on the area of your body where there is dis-ease.
· State your intention to release any thoughts and emotions that cause stress. Notice that you cannot change the events in your life at this moment; only the response to those events.
· Choose your breath and intentionally breathe in peace, calm, and love. These frequencies are always available to you in the quantum field.
· Continue to breathe slowly and calmly as the discordant energy releases with the breath.
· Each breath releases stress held in the body as you invite in healing with the breath.
After several minutes notice your breathing and your body. The more you practice this exercise, the easier it gets. You can always return to your breath anytime, anywhere, and anyplace.
The benefits of mental clarity, peace, and calm are worth a pause in your busy day. You will be more productive and effective when you return to your day.
An energy healing practitioner can sense the disruption in your energy field and release the stress from your body. This process resets your energy field. A daily practice to release stress as soon as possible before it either builds up or becomes embedded in your body is essential.
The good news is you can live a stress-free life even in a chaotic world. Contact me to schedule an energy healing session to release stress from your body and to learn techniques to prevent stress from hiding in your body. Kathi Pickett, RN CHTP