Our bodies and minds have two main states: threatened and calm. When we’re feeling calm, our mind is mostly clear and our body is healed. But in our modern life, we face all kinds of stress that just seems to keep coming at us. This puts our body and mind in a threatened state. Being in this state is helpful to a point. It empowers us to take on challenges in our daily lives. But when it goes on from day to day, never really settling, we end up spending too much time in the threatened state and this takes a toll on our mental and physical health.
When we’re stressed, our body does not digest or rest very well. We feel drained of energy and yet we can never really slow down. Our immune system is weakened, our concentration is worse and our relationships are harder to keep up. By contrast, when we’re calmed our body and mind are feeling optimal. We can be creative and kind and wise.
There are many triggers for stress but there are also triggers for calm. In our modern life, most of us are spending most of our time in a stress response. But is is possible to shift responses into a relaxation response. You can do this in many different ways, such as praying, meditating, exercising, creating, relating and so on. Research tells us that if we can spend just ten minutes focusing on something like our breath or a word as we exhale while letting go of any distractions, we can switch on our body and mind’s relaxation response.
If we aren’t familiar with a way of switching on our relaxation response, we need to figure one out for the good of our mental and physical health. You can research the many options and try some out for yourself. Follow what interests you, what you enjoy. If you are having trouble with this, counselling can provide you with a guide in calming your body and mind so you can live your best life.