Louise Trudel

Are you a "relaxed" or a "stressed" type?

SURVIVAL!

That's why you have butterflies in your stomach, sweaty hands, a racing heart... and why you panic and worry.

This mechanism has been part of us for tens of thousands of years. It is designed for the short term, to make us react quickly and "equip" us for fight or flight.

More than 30 hormones and neurotransmitters are involved in a cascade of events that will in turn impact your biochemistry, physiology and mind.

Within seconds, you become faster, more focused and yes, even stronger. In short, you will handle the situation IN THE SHORT TERM.

After that, it's imperative that everything returns to normal because this "goose egg show" reaction to danger cannot last. It's very demanding. It takes energy and well, the reserves are empty. Everything has been monopolized for SURVIVAL. Good job!

Welcome to 2020

Financial problems, a bad relationship, health problems, job loss, a parent confined to a nursing home... and ouch, the result: continuous stress and multiple renewed and anticipated worries.

And so this cascade of events that makes us react to dangerous situations (and that must be short-lived) repeats itself... again... and again... and goes on... forever.

Grizzly = marital strife = financial problems = flat tire

The problem is that the brain perceives a danger. No matter what it is. No shade of gray.

So it's ready to react with its arsenal of neurotransmitters, hormones causing faster heartbeats, slower digestion, dilated pupils, fear and even anxiety to anticipate impending danger.

All of this is useful if a grizzly bear is chasing you. But does a grizzly bear chase you often? Several times a day... day after day... because...

... I'm repeating myself, but it's important for you to understand: your brain doesn't know the difference between a grizzly bear 2 meters away from you or a back-to-school pandemic.

So you're always on alert, always on a high, ready to fight, ready to go.

It gets out of hand... OUPS!

Too much cortisol (among other things) continuously depletes your physical and mental energy reserves. And then the problems begin: insomnia, irritability, weight gain, high blood pressure, alcohol or substance dependency, headaches, anxiety. The list is very long.

Your body absolutely must relax to function properly.

But it won't do it on its own. It sends you signals and it's up to you to listen and act on them.

IT'S NOT EASY, OR EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING IT.

The reality is that managing stress is hard.

It takes a minimum of effort and time.

Good! You book yourself a dream SPA getaway or a 3 week ashram retreat.

Good idea. But then what? Will you go back to your stressful work to sleep routine.

If your answer is yes, then I say bravo for the effort, but too bad for the lack of understanding of the situation AND your own body!

EVERY DAY: yes, that means a minimum of discipline.

You have to put yourself out there. Every day. Even when things are going well.

Small moments every day will make all the difference.

Whatever your formula is: 10 minutes of meditation, jogging, yoga, taichi, hiking, music, knitting... the idea is to give your body those moments of respite so your mind and body biochemistry can get back to normal.

Now, now... now, program your cell phone for a 10-minute "bye bye stress" respite on a daily basis.

Breathe, sleep, meditate, walk, streamline, read, laugh (love this one!) and...take care of yourself ❤️😄 🙏

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