Have you ever become aware of a gnawing stomach ache that crops up without warning? Or a splitting headache when you can least afford to stop working? We can fool ourselves about our stress levels, but there is one communication channel that keeps the score – our body. Although the reaction might come after the event, the body has a way of sending out warning signals when the burden has become too heavy for you.
Without judging ourselves, we could become curious about our body’s reaction to stress, we can pick up wisdom from this handy and available source. Step one is to recognise what triggers a stress response in your body.
Becoming aware of your body’s stress signals is the beginning of physical and mental control and healing. Once you have recognised and named the feeling and it’s source, you can let go of the stress and with clear thinking, respond in a mindful way – instead of reacting emotionally.
A good practice to build into your day is to set a soothing alarm for every three hours. When it rings, stop what you are doing and take a five-minute break. Close your eyes and take four deep breaths – in for four counts, hold for four and exhale for four. Then do a quick body scan and locate any discomfort and unwanted feelings.
Next, ask your body what it needs – it might be a quick leg-stretch or a glass of water, or you might need to take a brisk walk to clear your head.
Listen to the messenger and beat your stress!