How many of you have said “Oh there is just not enough hours in the day”? I hear this from clients, friends and family too often throughout the week. Our jobs are beginning to need 24/7 attention and as a society we are trying to juggle to many things. Our lives are getting busier and busier and out boys are starting to break down and not be able to keep up and we have started to see a huge increase in health issues such as adrenal and chronic fatigue.
Most of us are waking up at 4am and will not stop doing things until 11pm just to try and find the time to get done what needs to be done. We are starting out day off stressed with a massive to do list already and ending the day stressed with a even bigger to do list. Why is this beginning to be detrimental to our health though?
We are waking up at 4am already tired and shattered,or you are waking up around 6am stressed with no time so you eat breakfast on the go. We are already thinking about the amount of things we need to try and do for the day. Add children into the mix and you are trying to not only sort yourself out for the morning but you are also running around children to get them sorted and ready for the day. We then have a coffee (which indirectly adds to the stress processes in your body), rush out the door and get to work where we have another big to do list and 100 emails waiting for replies.
By 8am we are already feeling frantic, anxious, stressed and probably reaching for coffee number two to try and hit us with some energy. All of this stress and anxious feelings from waking are making our body function in whats called the sympathetic nervous system or our flight or fight mode.
The fight or flight mode is used for survival and make many millions of years ago, we would only use this system when we were fighting for our life either needed a rush of energy to run away from a lion or to fight someone raiding your hut. Our fight or flight mode is triggered by stress, wether it is real (someone trying to fight us) or perceived (coffee, huge to do lists, anxious feelings etc). The fight or flight mode does three main things with harm our health:
- Raises our heart rate and blood pressure. Our respiratory rate increase, or heart rates increase and our cardiovascular system to working on overload.
- It moves blood and nutrients away from our organs that are ‘not needed to survive’ and moves it towards the brain and muscles so we can run and make quick decisions. The organs that the blood gets taken away from include the organs involved in the digestive system and our reproductive system.
- It also switches of all the little not needed processes and takes nutrients away from things like having long nails, strong long hair, glowing skin etc.
Each of these things are taking away from vital processes in our body. It can causes us to have respiratory problems, elevated blood pressure, irregular bowels, menstrual problems and reproductive problems. It also means we don’t get too enjoy the finer things of life like having gorgeous hair and glowing skin.
The stress of life and having more and more on our plate is inevitable, its a part of modern day society. We can’t really escape the pressures of life but we can do things to help get away from living in the sympathetic nervous system all of the time.
Take a nap or a bath or lock the door and read a book. Relaxing and doing something you love is the best thing you can do for your body, mind and soul. If your shattered and tired, take a power nap. If you are feeling drained run yourself a bath and soak. Enjoy some time to yourself doing what you love without thinking about what needs to be done.
As cheesy as it sounds, deep belly breathing are the best thing you can do for your health. Just 5 minutes of deep belly breathing can automatically de stress the mind and body so you can think more clearly. It can also decrease your heart rate, your blood pressure and switch your body out of the sympathetic nervous system. If thats not enough, you can deep belly breathe anywhere; in your car, at your desk, watching tv. Its a quick, easy amazing tool to help many aspects of your health.
It may sound selfish but you are the most important thing and if you are not feeling 100% then everyone around you will not be feeling healthy, happy and energised. Your to do list will still be there after a nap or a bath. Enjoy yourself and listen to what your body needs.
Whats your favourite way to relax?