We cannot undo the stress, but we can manage it. Stress management is a skill that needs training.
Stress is a state of mental and physical imbalance that is reflected in each individual in a unique way. What poses a great deal of stress to one person is only an easy challenge to another person.
Different external and internal pressures are a normal part of our everyday lives, but the problem is when we are under stress for a long time.
We usually feel stress due to direct physical or psychological threat, when we face something new or unknown, when we don't have enough time to react, due to lack of confidence or other 'unhealthy' personal beliefs.
During stressful situations, our body produces stress hormones (especially the adrenal gland). The most problematic stress hormone is CORTISOL. This hormone's duty is to increase blood pressure and blood sugar. Its performance in the morning is at maximum and it decreases as the day goes by. It makes us ready to begin the day. Due to the inappropriate way of living such as increased use of coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, unhealthy eating habits, poor relationships, lack of exercise, and the inability of coping with life challenges, the level of cortisol remains elevated throughout the day which causes damage in the long run to a variety of physiological subsystems (digestive, heart, nervous, respiratory, hormonal, and reproductive system).
There are two types of stress:
The positive stress - EUSTRESS
To some extent, stress has a positive effect on body and mind. The kind of stress we experience when we get married, our first job, our first date, our first sports game, can have a very positive and motivational impact on us. Stress is what drives us to realize the idea that we have and realize it the best we can.
Medically dangerous negative stress - DISTRESS. Excessively intense and prolonged stress.
Our body is under stress when we are constantly active, without a break or rest, exposed to an unhealthy environment or relationships and its resilience, therefore, decreases and vulnerability increases, we are more susceptible to injuries and inflammation. Something we had a perfectly normal experience with in the past can now cause great stress, our immune system is suffering.
Negative stress depends on our personal view and perception of a particular event (so-called stressor). Each body has its own way of dealing with stress. Someone's with minimal consequences and someone's with major negative consequences.
Long-term negative stress often leads to the development of psycho-physical illness, burnout. Burnout is the result of a chronic confrontation with various stressors, a result of an unhealthy response to stressful situations.
Psychological symptoms of stress:
Feelings of anxiety, panic
Not seeing the meaning of life
Quick anger and irritability
Lack of motivation
No motivation to perform day-to-day tasks
Excessive emotional fluctuations
Physical symptoms of stress:
Rapid and shallow breathing
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Indigestion and stomach problems
Imbalance in the nervous system
Low concentration and focus
There are two ways we can respond to stress:
An unhealthy reaction to stress (role of a victim, sense of inferiority, inability to make decisions, passivity).
Healthy, conscious reaction to stress
It is especially important to recognize when we are under stress and what is putting us under excessive stress. If we want to change something, we need to see it first, and if we rush, we often don't detect it. We don't detect our current internal state, our own needs. It's only when we've calmed down a little we can slow down, act in a more appropriate way. This 'break' is like self-reflection.
When we slow down, we notice our habits, thoughts, our physical body, and if there is a tension present in it, pain or discomfort, we have a chance to take the next step. Ask ourselves: What can we do to make things different, to make it more pleasant, easier, less stressful?
Stress and relaxation response
The autonomic nervous system consists of a sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. I will describe them through two so-called programs:
Survival program associated with the SOMATIC nervous system:
We are in the survival program when we feel unsafe or when we feel threatened and there is physical or mental pain or inconvenience present. The pain, the unpleasantness, those are signs that we are in danger. We are also in the survival program when we are constantly active for a long time.
Safety program associated with the parasympathetic nervous system:
We are in the safety program when we feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe, when we feel balance and clarity. Positive emotions are working when we find a solution, this is the home of wisdom. It's a place of creation and creative energy.
We are in the safety program even if we can't see and live our potential yet but are at peace with it. We trust and continuously work on it.
What can you do to cope with stress more easily?
Meet your stressors, what puts you under stress so that you know which environment is appropriate and supportive for you in accordance with your needs and values.
Take responsibility for your lives.
Learn how to communicate clearly, sincerely, and with compassion.
Explore the actions of female and male nature, relationships.
Learn how to respond in mutual relationships according to the time and environment.
Begin to look at the challenges as well-meaning life lessons.
Develop the ability to say yes or no.
Be benevolent in action.
Learn to accept and give without expectations.
Learn to channel your time, organize your day.
Change what you can and accept what you can't.
Socialize with pleasant people where there is a mutual exchange going on.
Take enough time for yourself, for your hobbies, your fun, and your rest.
Explore your potentials and live them.
Be positive and constructive.
Ensure you get sufficient sleep (your body gets the most rest and is most regenerated when you sleep between 9 pm and 4 am). Sleep is the best superfood.
Have a daily routine (sleep, wake up early, eat, rest, work) which you do consciously, mindfully, and calmly.
Enjoy a balanced diet suitable to your physique. Use proper herbs.
Take care of your daily, safe, and personalized exercise such as yoga or hiking in nature. It is important that the chosen exercise offers a balance between strength, stability, mobility, and flexibility.
Raise the tolerance (resistance) to stress by doing what you enjoy and what fulfills you and what brings you inner peace.
Explore knowledge for life (wisdom).
Ask yourself: Do the news, spending time in loud shopping malls, relationships, jobs, and your environment have a positive effect on you?
In modern times, stress cannot be completely avoided. However, we can decide how much we are going to expose ourselves to the above-mentioned stressors, and if stress accumulates we can release it in time.
I have experienced this myself and realized, by working with people, that excessive stress is our number one enemy. This is how Center Diha became the first anti-stress center on the coast, where all our services are focused on balancing the nervous system.
Act in accordance with your needs and values. Let your life be noble.
13 years ago, Maja Kenda made a radical change in her life. She decided to leave the consumer society and find her happiness in a simple life in close contact with nature. At the same time, this also happened to her inner world. She took the path of self-exploration. Nature became her teacher. Nature taught her to see the beauty around her, in everyone, to hear the silence. However, this departure was not her final destination, so after 7 years she returned to the world here and now, the world as it is, and not how she wanted it to be. This was a new major change through which she started to understand the middle path.
Movement is part of her life. She learned the connection between movement and breath very early. Professional sport required her to have the presence of breath when moving or resting. She was a multiple national swimming champion.
Over the last 10 years, she has been practicing yoga, somatics, MBSR (Mindfulness) method, done various awareness practices related to the understanding of the female nature. She's a teacher of Hatha Yoga, somatics, and an integral breathing instructor.
Some of her former teachers are Blaž Bertoncelj: hatha yoga and somatics, Matejči Šajnam: somatics, Tatyana Tolochkova: Iyengar yoga, Milan Hosta: Integral breathing, Polona Sepe: Kriya Tantra and Yoga, The discovery of women's essences with Savina Atai, Manja Potočnik, Sasha Cobra, dr. Joachim Gross and Robert Križaj: MBSR method of integrated stress management, Erik van den Brink: MBCL - Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living.
She is a co-founder of the first anti-stress center on the coast, Center Diha, where she continuously shares her knowledge and experiences with others. This is her way of life to which she is devoted with all her heart.