If I haven’t convinced you to practice self-care yet, listen to some more physiological arguments.
Chronic stress – how it influences our bodies and minds
We live in very fast times, our to-do lists seem to have no end, but the day is still only 24 hours long. We are under constant pressure and in a rush. Such an environment leads to permanent stress and tension.
Our nervous system was designed at a time when the saber-toothed tiger was the stress factor. In a stressful situation, it mobilizes the entire body in fight or flight response. After the threat is over, the stress hormones drop and the system returns to normal.
Unfortunately, nowadays, stressors are deadlines at work, burdensome stress, traffic jams, difficult relationships, divorces, political situations or a polluted environment. Consequently, we live in a time when we run away from the tiger non-stop and without any break.
As you can imagine, this constant pursuit leads to exhaustion, because stress is not harmful itself, but its chronic influence on our bodies on all levels. This is because the body under stress cuts off the unnecessary systems: conscious mind, immune system, digestive system, etc. Therefore, under the influence of chronic stress, we have problems with concentration, remembering, regulating emotions, digestion or experience chronic pain.
The topic of psychosomatic disorders is very wide, and we can do a lot of harm to ourselves as a result of chronic stress. If you are interested in how stress affects the body, I recommend Gabor Mate’s book “When the body says no”.
How to avoid it? How to break the vicious cycle of fight or flight response? Self-care comes to our aid as the moment of rest and regeneration.
MNSA – first aid to release chronic stress
How do I start my own self-care practice? It is worth starting with a simple MNSA model that helps us take care of ourselves in 4 steps – meditation, nutrition, sleep and physical activity. I will briefly tell you about each of these steps.
M for meditation. It is a time of silence and relaxation. It gives us a break in the daily rush and allows us to reduce the level of stress hormones. Furthermore, it is best to start from guided meditations.
N for nutrition. It is worth taking care of the right amount of balanced meals and good fats that will nourish the nervous system and the brain. Plus, give yourself time to eat in peace. Put down the phone and turn off the TV. Focus on the meal. Make eating a little mindfulness practice.
S for sleep, which is crucial for the proper functioning of our entire body, especially the brain. In addition to the right amount of sleep, it is worth taking care of its quality of sleep by calming down before going to bed.
A for physical activity. It may seem surprising, but when we are avoiding physical activity, our mind slows down significantly. Therefore, if we want to be more productive, let’s never skip physical activity. In addition, movement allows us to get out of the head and relax and release the accumulated tension.
Self-care role in the moments of transition
Finally, I would like to mention the role that self-care plays in life changes as well as professional and personal development.
In order to consciously shape our lives, we need time for reflection, rest, and regeneration. Thanks to this, we can discover what we want, and where we are going.
If we do not create a space for ourselves to stop and reflect, but start acting from a fight or flight position, there is a great chance that we will fall back into the old tracks. Most likely, we will create a new version of the existing problems for ourselves, that is, despite the effort and transformation, we will return to the starting point.
I hope I encouraged you to take care of yourself. Good luck in creating your own self-care practice, because you deserve relaxation and regeneration!
About the Author:
I created Slow Soul Studio, where I help exceptional women like you to live in harmony with yourself, reach your fullest potential, using the best methods: RTT hypnotherapy and soul level coaching.
I will guide you to discover your soul purpose and unlock your potential so that you can realize yourself in abundance!
This article is the result of the „Wider Horizons” project, implemented by Development Support Foundation Innovator.
Project is co-financed by the European Union under Erasmus + Programme. (KA1 – Learning mobility of individuals, Mobility of adult education staff, Agreement No. 2020-1-PL01-KA104-079945).
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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