Have you ever had so many things on the go that you aren’t sure which one to do first? Do you juggle multiple commitments and have too many balls in the air? This can be overwhelming and create stress. I know because that is my current state; overwhelmed, stressed and emotional. Stress, Anxiety and Life
I am a perfectionist. I like things to be done the way I like it, which isn’t always a good thing. It adds pressure to my every day, because I will just add whatever menial task it is to my to do list, instead of asking someone to help. On top of being a perfectionist I don’t know how to say NO! I will be asked to help, or do something and I say sure, even when I have no idea how I am going to be able to do it. I have a thing about not letting people down. I also worry about hurting or upsetting someone. I create this crazy state of chaos for myself. I manage to juggle all the balls in the air until it comes to a point and all the balls come toppling down on me. Stress, anxiety and emotions hit me. When this happens I am a mess. I can’t help anyone, even myself. It’s an internal battle I am working on. I need to take better care of ME. I know I need to stop worrying about everyone else and sometimes do what’s best for me. I know these things and yet I still can’t quite make the decision to say NO, or ask for help. I am learning, and I see the cycle I put myself in so that’s a step in the right direction. Stress can be a good thing for us to a degree. It’s our bodies way of protecting us. It can make us rise up to challenges. It can push us to complete a task, or a commitment and to keep us on track, and focus. In emergency situations stress can even save our lives! It can give us extra strength to defend ourselves in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, beyond a certain point stress stops being helpful and can start causing damage to our health. It can affect our quality of life, our mood, our productivity and our relationships. Our bodies have the fight or flight response. When we feel threatened our nervous system responds by releasing the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and these make our hearts pound faster, blood pressure rises, our breath quickens and our senses become sharper. This is how our strength and stamina increase, our focus gets sharper and we become acutely aware of our surroundings. It’s our bodies way of preparing us to either flee or fight. This is all fantastic right? Well not necessarily. Our bodies nervous systems have a hard time knowing if the stress we are feeling is emotional or a physical threat. If we are stressed to often our body will release the stress hormones so easily and it is harder to shut them off. Chronic stress can lead to serious health concerns. It can disrupt all of our bodies systems. The digestive system will be upset making you ill with diarrhea or inhibiting you to eat. Or perhaps it’s the opposite for you and it causes you to over eat which leads to more issues. It can suppress our immune systems making us sick. It can affect our sleep, our reproductive systems, cause heart attacks and stroke and even speed up the aging process. It also affects some of us mentally causing depression and anxiety. There are ways to handle stress. I am learning that talking about how we feel and asking for help is so important. Sense of control is a huge one for me. If I know I am in control of my life, and the events in my life and it’s up to me to limit my commitments and the circumstances in which I create then I am in control. It keeps stress at bay, and keeps me on course. I also use essential oils to help ground me and balance my emotions. Frankincense really helps ease feelings of anxiety and balances my mood. Peppermint helps me focus and stay positive. My attitude and outlook is where I know I need to work on improving. It’s so easy when I feel overwhelmed to be negative and defeated. A positive outlook and mind is so important when we are feeling stressed. It can change the way we handle a situation and give us hope and determination. The quote “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations” is one that I believe in. With perseverance, commitment and faith we can achieve anything we set our minds to. Coping with stress is a part of life. We just have to know when it’s time to take a step back, analyze and breathe.