No Real Stress ? – Let’s Create Some !

..Do we look to create stress and do we secretly see this as a comfort ? …. 

Last week I was speaking at an evening event for a business organisation – the topic was Reconnection and Mindfulness in life and work. We got involved in the discussion on stress and how this is produced both physically and psychologically and of course spoke of work stresses .. it was a financial institution so end of tax year was a real trigger and avoiding fines by completion to deadlines .. and so on …. and it got me really thinking ..

Thinking about stress , the way we use the word to describe almost everything that pushes us slightly out of our comfort zone and the fact that stress is totally a concept we in our modern , safe world have designed.. that for many stress is only relevant to their world and in the greater scheme of things no real harm is done … and yet we remained fixated on stress.

If you think about individuals living in much more difficult circumstances , fighting for survival , hunting for food , living in war-torn cities , living with chronic or terminal illness  .. we would hand on heart say yes that is stress and actually you didn’t choose it – you didn’t look for it – it came upon you and you needed to work through it.

But interestingly for those individuals who are not living in these conditions it appears that a large proportion of humans still actively seek to bring stress in to their world.

For clients there is the point in which stress comes upon them due to past events which did cause stress and having not processed these, emotions crop up at totally -unrelated  times – causing feelings of stress about the stress or anxiety – help to move forward is needed here.

For some it’s a career choice where again there is life and death situations to handle – individuals will have a clear view of why they choose to do this – to help others and potentially to alleviate stress for others whilst taking on stress for themselves .

Then there’s the next stage where we really don’t have any life or death situations but we still feel stressed and look to create it – I do this all the time – I am a procrastinator , a last-minute dot-com girl – proud of the fact I never miss a deadline but, take everything up to wire .. and provide myself with a whole load of stress which can often keep me awake at night … why do we do this? .. why not plan ahead? .. what is it that pushes me to do this almost every time  .. could it be, we are in fact, addicted to stress and have a need and desire for this which we believe allows us to function?

We know that in stress we produce different chemicals in our brain .. adrenalin is a key factor in this .. the waves of adrenalin mixed with excitement or fear can give us an edge , produce focus, allow us to push through barriers … we know that part of our brain is totally focused on keeping us safe – pointing our hidden dangers and ensuring we are in survival mode …. and yet for many of us again this part of the brain is not really needed on a regular basis. Our world is comfort led  – the proverbial saber tooth tiger is no longer lurking behind a rock.

We see people talking of giving up the stressful life and looking for ways to drop out and live a mindful and peaceful life .. and yet this can cause them to be stressed – the ability to slow down an uncomfortable position in itself.  .. and of course we get competitive about stress. Conversations about who is run ragged during their day , who works the longest , whose children are the most to handle and have the most clubs and biggest social life..and finally there is this world the digital world – a world in which we share our happiest times .. and develop comparitonitus so we can be stressed at how well everyone else is doing.

I am coming to the conclusion that stress is something we subconsciously seek , that if we were to be given a stress free world we would create concepts and deadlines and rules against which we could measure our stress – almost as if being stressed has become a comfort , a norm that we strive to hold onto …. the question is can we truly as humans alleviate stress from our lives .. and the bigger question is .. do we even want to ?

Why not come over to the Bemoore Face Book Group – Reconnection and join in the conversation and find support ?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bemoorefindyourroar/

Get involved by subscribing to our YouTube Channel for information on Reconnection and fabulous guest interviews.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaihh8g2BXqUD_H9jQ-OA_w?view_as=subscriber

If you need support for stress , anxiety , OCD , Depression or general well-being and confidence drop me a note at amoore@bemooretherapy.co.uk.

For more information on programmes and support available visit http://www.bemoore .uk

 

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Switch off to Switch On!

The average social media user checks in every 6.5 MINUTES that’s around 150 times a day ! – so says the research carried out by Arianna Huffington for her Thrive book .. and I am a guilty addict .. so it needed to change …..

‘I am writing this blog initially in a pink pen on a notepad . Yes actual writing – not on a screen , not with my thumbs or clicking on keyboard – but physically moving my pen over the page , feeling it’s smooth movement and realising how much focus is needed to form the letters … and how slow I am at it! You see I am having a digital detox day – no social media or checking of messages .. and already I am feeling calmer and more relaxed.

As someone who is an avid ‘ poster’ – I have 4 FB pages inc home and business , a twitter , an Instagram and a Linked in plus both home and business email accounts it seems I am on line A LOT! But not just when I need to be . I am permanently attached to my phone, checking it , picking it up , carrying it with me , worrying where I put it – not even able to get out of the car without looking at it. I was convinced for a while I was connected , learning and taking part in the world – always engaged and up to date but since becoming a practitioner or mindfulness ( hence the creation of my Reconnection Project and Journal Program) and mindfulness becoming a big part of my life, I have started to become aware of some worrying behaviours.

  1. Anxiety constantly over where the said phone was!
  2. Lack of attention with no ability to focus for more than a few minutes at a task before needing to check in again!
  3. Worrying memory issues from constant short bursts of short pieces of info that I rarely read in-depth, which led to me having difficulty remembering anything at all.
  4. Never truly engaged especially with my young son – I would be with him whilst he played but I would be on screen time so never fully present and experiencing this precious time with him.

On top of all of these I have become disillusioned with the images and news I am  reading.

  • the constant outpouring of celebrity grief for every single person that passes ( that’s a whole other blog itself.)
  • suddenly seeing images of tortured animals and experimentations and horrific news  – especially those where people think saying Amen will do any good.
  • being asked to cut and paste and being basically told if I didn’t I was a dreadful human being.
  • The seemingly endless petitions which are now so easy to just click and share – no effort needed to support a cause anymore. .. and who follows up on everything they clicked on ?
  • and finally the feeling of motion sickness and headaches caused by the scrolling action which my eyes have taken offense to.

And so on Saturday I decided to disconnect! and writing this late on Saturday afternoon it’s been a revelation already.  Suddenly I am aware of what is going in the world – the real world – like spending time with my family at our favourite café – instead of sitting there on my phone I am reading stories to my son and chatting to my husband ( who is slightly disgruntled as he is still connected and trying to invade an imaginary land).

Watching a film together and really watching it – seeing my son so excited when his favourite character came on and realising that he could say the words of certain scenes – who knew ?

Reading a real magazine – fully immersed in the articles , making notes and highlighting favourite pieces and feeling the knowledge start to seep into my brain which was relieved we were not skim reading yet again .. and the writing  this blog from start to finish without interruption…already there is a calmness and a belief of purpose that has began to come through .’

Now typing this up on Monday I can say I have continued my digital detox – not totally as I do enjoy hearing people’s happy moments and I love interacting with my on line community which plays a big part in my business – but I have been limiting my social media time. Specifically putting the phone away whilst being on task and ensuring that I am in the moment when I am with people. Ironically I have discovered a whole host of great material to share with my on line tribes whilst also having some serious background knowledge rather than simply clicking share on interesting articles – my love of research never went away but it was sadly dimmed it seemed and is now being embraced fully! – many post it notes have been used this weekend 🙂

I have noticed of course how much others are firmly still head down – my whole family including my young son were all on devices on Saturday evening so there was no one there to talk to .. I shall gently tackle this on going plus I realised how much of an ‘ addict I was ‘ – after the initial first day of enjoyment there was also some anxiety about not checking in which worried me but in turn reminded me that this project is important to our mental wellbeing ..

So I will work to resist the urge to live in a virtual world and strive be mindful in the present.

Details of my Journaling Program can be found at http://www.bemoore.uk