Today I could feel it happening. Anger rising in my blood, tension cascading down my neck and into my back, my fists becoming balled up. Negative and very unprofessional words flew through my mind as I read the e-mail which perpetuated the stress in the first place. E-mails that always enable the stress from my real job.
So, at first, I took a shower hoping the cool water would shut down the heat boiling in my body. But it continued because my thoughts continued. And it continued because I needed a different source of stress relief which didn’t just address the physical symptoms but also the mental symptoms as well. In this moment, I knew it would be beneficial for me to look up what I could do in this moment to help me get over the stress and to help me move on with my day in a more mentally positive way.
In my findings I found out that there are three different types of stress responses: fight, flight, and immobilization. Fight is what I was feeling today which included anger, agitation or feeling bodily tense due to stress. Flight is when a person deals with stress by becoming depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out. Lastly, immobilization is brought on by a traumatic response in which a person may become “frozen” or “stuck” in the moment due to their stress.
After learning about the different types of responses, I knew instantly that today I was the exact image of the fight response. To decrease the stress in this response, the best techniques include meditation, deep breathing and muscle relaxation. For the flight response, the best techniques are rhythmic exercise, massage, mindfulness or power yoga. Lastly, for the immobilization response, physical activity such as running, dancing, tai chi are the best when mindfully focusing on limbs as you move.
Once my research was complete, I decided to do some deep breathing as I was most knowledgeable about that technique. So I sat in my office chair with my back straight, a hand on my stomach and my chest, and took in those deep soothing breaths through my nose making sure to feel my belly rise. I held it for five seconds and then let the air escape from my lips as my stomach flattened. I continued my deep soothing breaths a few more times and I could feel instant relief from the tension in my neck and back. Also, those bad thoughts were more controllable now that I had more oxygen circulating in my body and brain to help me problem solve in a professional manner.
Thankfully I am now in the appropriate mindset to deal with my real job and I learned about different stress responses and techniques to use. Stress is common in my job so it’s best to have those techniques on hand. Also, I created some spreads in my bullet journal to remind me what to do in those moments and hopefully I can incorporate them into my routine.
What stresses you out? What techniques do you use in those overwhelming moments? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂