Guest article by: Lyneah Marks, www.bodysoulandangels.com
Types of stress
There are many types of stress and they can be divided into two major categories: innate and learned. Innate is the hard-wired response that is based on centuries of having to run from real physical life-threatening dangers, let’s call them ‘dinosaurs’. When there were large scary ‘dinosaurs’, we learned that survival depended on one of two things: flight or fight. That’s what happens when a sudden noise of someone scaring you or a near miss in traffic puts you into flight or fight mode – you either run from the ‘dinosaur’ chasing you or you turn and fight. In the case of flight, we run off the adrenaline and shut down the adrenal complex. In a fight: we use up the chemicals in the process of fighting. That’s how it worked in earlier times and it is programmed into our DNA.
But what about the second form of stress? There is no dinosaur and we still respond with survival physiological responses: adrenaline surges through our bodies, our pulse increases, hyperactivity floods our senses and we are “on edge”. This is meant to be a short-term surge to get us out of harm’s way. We often neither fight nor flee. It’s the stress of your job or the stress of no job and of having to stay at home for COVID-19 and there is no fight or flight to reduce adrenaline, what happens? Unless we take action to reduce it, the stress continues, robbing us of our peace and can lead to multiple health issues including compromising our immune systems.
How do we stop this adrenal overreaction?
- Running, especially sprinting reduces the stress response, as does fighting, which most of us prefer to avoid. Aerobic activities shut it down. Even a good imagined sprint can help.
- Yoga can be an effective stress reliever.
- Gentle Touch: Massage, a good hot shower or soaking bath, hugs, touch in general which is also limited under the COVID Pandemic unless you are in a relationship that includes gentle touch.
- Meditation can be very effective and does not require a lot of space or special equipment. If you find meditation challenging, you might check into the FIVE BASIC EXERCISES http://www.bodysoulandangels.com/five-basic-exercises which are designed to help beginners and advanced meditators alike.
A simple verse to memorize can be very helpful. Creating ritual in our lives can provide a sense of comfort and security. Here is one I have found most helpful in challenging times. There are two simple verses: one for the morning upon rising and the other at sunset or before sleep. Making a ritual of these two verses has been helpful to many of my clients in challenging times over the years. Perhaps you, too, will find it helpful now.
For this Michealic age Rudolph Steiner
“We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes toward man out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look forward, with absolute equanimity, to everything that may come and we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world direction full of wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age; namely to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence, trust in the ever present help of the spiritual world. Truly, nothing else will do, if our courage is not to fail us. Let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening.”