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Stressed Apple & Orange

Why Stress is Contagious and What You Can Do to Prevent it

25 Aug 15
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Autumn is sneaking upon us and before we know it we will all begin new routines and schedules. Lazy summer days come to an end and we prepare for changes in weather, work and play.

And for many, this time of year brings on a sense of overwhelm.

Isn’t it interesting that as a new school year begins, we all seem to get into the spirit of starting new projects and classes or we begin to consider plans for the Fall and the Winter?

For many women all this excitement creates a lot of stress and feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and no “ME TIME”.

When I am out in the community speaking with women about creating time for themselves they agree they often put their own needs for self-care at the bottom of their priority list.

Self-abnegation: the act of putting the needs of others before your own needs.

So many women totally get this and agree it is super hard to create ‘me time’.

What happens if we ignore our need for ‘me time’?

What happens when we don’t take care of us?

Can YOU put off your own self-care for another month?  How about another year or possibly a decade?

Maybe you feel the time isn’t now… you need to wait until the kids are older, or possibly when you retire, or possibly something will  happen so you can stop and take time to breathe deeply.

I want to let you know that THIS is the ‘perfect’ time for you.

It is time to create a practice of self-care.

The perfect time for self-care is NOW!

And, what if you don’t take time for you now?

You will experience frustration and overwhelm, and you will not be living in the life you desire and deserve.

These feeling of frustration begin to affect you physically, mentally and emotionally.

Those feelings of frustration begin to affect how you interact with other people.  Your sense of overwhelm affects your relationships with those closest to you and your relationship with yourself.

Do you think your family and friends will see your smile and not notice you are in a funk or maybe even angry beneath your attempt to hide it?  Those around you can ‘feel’ your unrest.

Stress is contagious!

Think to a time when you have been with someone who is angry or upset.  You can sense it, can’t you?

Emotions are energy is motion. 

We can feel other peoples’ angst and they can feel yours.

We are especially open to ‘catch’ stress from those whom we are closest to.  You feel stress when your children or your spouse are stressed and they ‘feel’ stress from you, as well.

This all reminds me of a couple of excellent commercials on TV.  One commercial is about a child who senses her mothers’ depression and sits about appearing to be concerned and sad.

The message is how depression affects those around you.

The other commercial shows a young girl daydreaming about her parents’ argument at home, as if it was happening now, yet she is at school trying to focus on the teacher.

Both of these commercials clearly show how stress can affect those around us

When we are feeling stress our adrenal glands help us deal with the situation causing the stress by producing cortisol.  This is our bodies’ way of helping us respond with our automatic responses of fight or flight.

It is perfect when we are dealing with an emergency situation or when we are in danger.

Our ability to respond instantly to danger was crucial when humans were running from tigers, but today our stress is not usually life threatening.

Our stress is a daily occurrence.

Many people find themselves in chronic stress and they have an overdose of cortisol running through their bodies.  This excess cortisol can have negative effects on our bodies.

The healthy answer is to find a balance between activity and rest.

Self-care begins by recognizing your stress levels and making a decision to find ways to reduce and manage stress.

Share your feelings with those close to you.  Ask for help and allow your family and friends to help you.  Asking and accepting support from others is also allowing those people the wonderful gift of giving to you.

Creating a self-care routine and sticking with it is super important to help you let go of stress, frustration and overwhelm.

Join a yoga class, learn and practice meditation, mindfulness or self-hypnosis.

Find activities that bring you inner peace and joy.

Begin a gratitude journal and use it daily.  Make a list of all the things you are grateful for and add to this list every day.  Review this list when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

I help my clients to let go of old emotional hurts and traumas that are adding to their stress.  Is it time to let go of old unprocessed issues that are no longer serving you?

Letting go of outdated issues and emotional unrest is a positive step in self-care.  You deserve to live the life you desire.  Call me today if you want to discuss the steps I take my clients through to release those issues that no longer are serving them.

Share this article with anyone you know who is experiencing overwhelm, frustration or anxiety.  Take care and have a stress-free day!