What is ‘stress’ and how can we utilise it?

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With September just around the corner and Autumn approaching, we wave goodbye to the Summer and hello to ‘back to school’ and back to work. This sudden jolt from the ease of Summer holidays, warmer weather, and extended free time, to being back in the 9 to 5 system can create quite a shock on our mental, emotional and physical bodies. The pressure of school runs, deadlines and increasing workloads can easily lead us into a state of stress. Easily, we find ourself out of the bliss we spent our time in over the last few months, and into a run down, stressed version of ourselves.

But what is stress exactly? Stress is our bodily response to handling certain external situations and influences. Really, it’s our body preparing its self to deal with a challenge successfully. So really, if you’re feeling highly stressed right now, it’s because your body is letting you know that its dealing, and preparing its self to deal with all of the tasks you’ve aligned for yourself. This ‘stress response’ can be used to activate all of your capabilities so that you can beat your challenges in the best and most effective way. Stress also signifies the importance that you’ve placed upon a situation, so it can be seen in a positive light as it reflects the care you have for a situation. 

Ultimately, only we can take full responsibility for our lives, choices and our situations. So, the question is – how can we utilise these stressful, less comfortable feelings? The first thing to do is to allow ourselves the space to feel them. Then, once we’ve really allowed ourselves to express our emotions, it’s time to take a look at our needs. What are the external influences on these feelings? Which element of your job, lifestyle, or home is making you feel this way? Can you pinpoint anything? If you’re able to find a problem, then you’re likely to find a situation. Just allow yourself to really analyse your current situations, and take the necessary time out to evaluate the decisions you can make to change things and priorities the tasks you have at hand. 

When we look at our stress, analyse it and feel the stimulation it’s caused in our bodies, we can use this energy to enhance the performance of our stressful tasks. Using this energy can increase our drive and determination to fulfil them. When we use stress in this way, it is known as ‘good stress’, however it’s important that after using our energy to perform these tasks, we take time to rest and recover. If we don’t rest after these stressful feelings, our body can tire and become depleted. This can cause exhaustion, put the brain into survival mode, and cause us to react in a ‘fight or flight’ mode, as if we are in severe danger and fighting to survive. If we put ourselves in this position, then we find ourselves in a place of ‘bad stress’, which we don’t want to experience. ‘Bad stress’ can lead to depression, anxiety and affect our relationships with our surroundings and our community.

When you find yourself in a state of stress, make sure to check in with yourself and ask whether you’re experience ‘good stress’ or ‘bad stress’. When you’ve done this, gently remind yourself that you always have a choice, and there’s never anything in life that you have to do. Life is all about balance, so use your stress in whatever way works for you. You have the freedom to choose. Make sure that you take the time to rest and recover too. Balance yourself and take care of yourself.

In September, these changes can feel very sudden, but know that you’re not alone, and many other people are likely to be feeling the same way – so reach out, share and connect with your community. A problem shared is a problem halved. Stay close to the people you love, and don’t let stress disconnect you from the ones you care about. Practices like yoga and meditation make a great way to bring the body back into balance and to take care of yourself. A small daily practice can be more than enough to build your inner strength, connection to yourself and awareness of your surroundings. Just a simple daily practice can build all of the necessary foundations you need to combat stress and make the most out of your situations.

This month, utilise your stress to raise yourself up to the challenges you face, make any changes that you need to in your life, and allow you to connect you back in with your life and your community. Everything always works out in the end, and you will always find a solution. 

Yogi2Me is the first app delivering Yoga and Wellness services on demand to your door, in London. With Yogi2Me, you  can book an experienced yoga teacher to come to you at anytime. The app is perfect for busy bees who struggle to fit yoga or wellness into their schedule!  It’s the perfect antidote to an on-the-go lifestyle!

What is 'stress' and how can we utilise it? yogi2me