Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month has been held annually during the month of April and presents an opportunity to take a moment to focus on your wellbeing and check your current stress level!
We live in a world with constant pressure and the stress can affect you both mentally and physically.
In this blogpost we take a look at renowned yoga teacher Jonni Pollard’s take on stress and how we can look to combat and deal with it in today’s world.
“Stress tends to get a bad wrap. But is all stress bad? And more importantly, what exactly is stress?
The best way to describe stress is ‘a stimulating response to external challenges’. It’s the way your mind and body prepare to successfully meet a challenge or demand.
The purpose of this stimulating response is to activate and enliven all your capabilities so you can rise to the challenge, whether it be at work, studying, in a relationship, playing sport, or being creative.
This kind of stress that stimulates all your higher capabilities is called good stress. Good stress causes you to grow and become more skilled, confident and competent.
When good stress turns into bad stress…
Good stress however, can quickly turn bad when you don’t give yourself enough time to rest and recover. When there’s too much external stimulation, your brain detects danger and activates the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Now this response is great if you’re faced with a life-threatening situation. However, most of the time the fight or flight response is being triggered in non-life-threatening situations. And this has a huge impact on your behaviour and capability to creatively respond to challenges and demands. Instead of being confident and competent, you become reactive and defensive. Some obvious signs that good stress is turning bad are:
- Anxiousness or worry about the past or future
- Emotionally reactive, argumentative, or defensive
- Feelings of heaviness and lack of motivation
- Negative, pessimistic or overly judgmental
- Difficulty to stay focused
- Always in a rush, not fully completing tasks
- Unable to listen to other perspectives
- Poor sleep
Keep stress at bay: Meditate!
Rest is the best antidote for stress, and meditation is a great way to get it. The 1 Giant Mind meditation technique triggers what is known as the ‘relaxation response.’
Making meditation a daily habit is a really effective and practical way to stay on top of your stress levels. The outcome is that you enjoy life more, feel greater confidence and competence in meeting life’s challenges and don’t sweat the small stuff as much.”
At Yogi2Me, we pioneer the power of meditation and the positive health benefits – we have seen it transform people’s lives and we seek to share it with the people and make it more accessible.
If you are struggling to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, why not try a session with one of our experienced instructors so you can learn to turn bad stress into good stress, not the other way around!