A couple of months ago, I learnt a lesson.
An advanced lesson on stress.
A client consulted with me because he was stressed out. He was always on edge, tired and grumpy. He quickly lost his temper if things didn’t work out. He was starting to consume alcohol at night to help him relax and a get a good night’s sleep.
All this was a culmination of working 14 hours a day, six days a week.
His doctor suggested he take a week or two off to relax and rejuvenate.
He did. He said he felt better for two days after he returned to work and then the tiredness and mood swings crept back in.
This is what we know.
Your body stores stress.
Stress undealt with leads to dis-stress which will lead to dis-ease which will ultimately lead to disease.
Most experts agree that nearly all illness comes from some sort of stress. A good reference book is Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”.
As a metaphor, adding stress to your body is like blowing up a balloon. Most keep blowing until the balloon pops before they will do anything about it.
When my client took a break from work, he stopped blowing. His balloon was already, say, 95% full. Because he didn’t simply rest and do things to help him unload the stress, his balloon remained, say, just under 95% full.
When he returned to work, he instantly began to blow the balloon up
and quickly returned to 95% full.
I can personally relate to this. I have accumulated stress since I was 12 years of age. I have never taken the time to let it out. I have learnt how to reduce the amount I take on board. The things that used to stress me no longer do.
The other thing that happens is we get used to the balloon being 80% full and this becomes our new “normal”. We feel comfortable being this way even though we are showing minor signs of experiencing stress. We may have some aches and pains. We may have digestive problems or organs not working properly.
We tell ourselves “It will be right” and battle on. We even take some medications to help alleviate the symptoms. This generally only works for a short period before we have to up the dose as we are not dealing with why the problem is there in the first place.
The stress continues to blow up the balloon.
While one solution is simple: stop being stressed. This is something that can be learnt.
We also need to be able to let the air out of the balloon – without popping it .
I’m currently researching ways of doing this. I’ll bring you up to date as I find new ways.
Be nice if we all had a plug we could undo and let the stress out and then put the plug back in.
In the meantime, become aware of your stress levels. If you are not sure if you are stressed, ask someone you trust. I’m sure they will be happy to tell you how they see it.
Where possible, cease to continue feeling stressed so you are not adding more air to the balloon.
You’ve got this.
PS If you have some ideas on how to let the stress out, go here and let me know.