Tuning In to Stressing Out

Tuning In to Stressing Out
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Everyone has stress. But not everyone is aware of what the stressors are, or when the feeling of distress occurs, or what behaviours (conscious or unconscious) follow.

Sadly, often people have no idea how really stressed they are because stress, for many, has become the new normal.

It’s important to pay attention to stress because it can eventually become dis-ease. You probably know this to be true, even if you can’t always connect the dots. But sometimes you can.

Clients often tell me exactly what was happening in their life when weight gain really began. The weight gain is not a coincidence. It’s the result of what was happening – the stress. It’s about a life out of balance.

Knowing your sources of stress, triggers and reactions, gives you a chance of nipping stress in the bud, not by suppressing or ignoring it, but by releasing it. Vacations once or twice a year are wonderful, but not enough. Mini escapes every day? Now we’re talking.

Your body sends you signals. Are your shoulders shoved up around your ears? Do you feel tension in your neck? Is your stomach clenched?

Your behaviours also have something to say. Are you overeating, drinking, spending, or sleeping? Are you withdrawing? Have you become a grump?

Make a habit of tuning into your body. Notice what you’re feeling or experiencing and practice stress-relieving strategies as soon as possible. Tune into your senses. Be present. Breathe. Take a minute to stretch or walk it off. Jump up and down if it feels good. Do whatever it takes to break the state you’re in. Sometimes it takes only seconds. From this renewed state you can respond from a better place.

Often more sustained effort and initiative is also required, like long walks or workouts, or professional support. But the mindful breaks you take through the day will take the edge off.

Stress is created in the mind but resides in the body. The best way to discharge it is through your body. Trust what you feel. But don’t believe everything you think.