The Stress and Relaxation Response

Stress is a natural physical response to events that disturb or threaten your sense of harmony. When you sense danger– your body’s automatic nervous system reacts with the fight-or-flight response also known as the stress response. A cocktail of stress hormones such as adrenaline, are released from your endocrine system to enable you to flee or fight. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you and helps you stay focused, energetic and alert. This response is designed for a quick fix – once out of danger it assumes you will move back to a balanced way of being, where you can begin to heal. This relaxed demeanour is also known as the relaxation response. If you are in a constant state of stress, your body cannot heal, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your mood, health and quality of life. The part of your brain that governs the stress response does not know the difference between real or imagined danger, it simply responds to the reactions you are offering. It is easy to identify the stresses in the outside world, but not so easy to pinpoint the stresses of your inner world. Maybe you worry about the future, wish for or regret something from the past or maybe you feel dis-empowered, helpless or punish yourself. Whether this stress is inward or outward the result will be the same.

A Relaxation Exercise

  1. Stop whatever you are doing or thinking and simply breathe.
  2. Find a place to sit down. Relax your shoulders and your jaw.
  3. Place your hands on your stomach and feel it rise and fall as you slow your breathing – you are doing really well.
  4. Now, imagine you breathe in serenity and breath out relax
  5. Keep doing this for at least one minute or until you feel a little calmer.
  6. When you feel calmer imagine your favourite colour surrounding you from head to toe. It makes you feel safe and confident.
  7. In a few minutes you will feel ready to resume your activities.
  8. Go easy on yourself and give yourself all the time you need.
  9. You are worthy of feeling good.
  10. Your Higher Self loves you no matter what you say or do, for it knows your true nature is love.
  11. Congratulations you have just created a new path of relaxation.

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