Twenty years ago I began, what turned out to be, the most stressful period of my life, and any form of stress relief seem like an impossibility. Being headteacher of a pupil referral unit brought its own stresses, but in addition to that I had 3 teenagers who were exerting their personalities and making life at home very difficult. There seemed to be no escape and the stress took its toll until I was forced to take 6 months off with chronic stress and adrenal fatigue.
Stress is not far away the majority of the time in our increasingly busy lives. Sometimes we recognise it and experience its effects, other times it comes in disguise. Stressful episodes that come in short bursts are usually dealt with quite effectively by our inbuilt flight or flight system. Many years ago cavemen needed the adrenalin rush to help them deal with any danger they had to face when hunting for food, the adrenalin kicked in and then, when the danger was over everything returned to normal. This of course is no longer part of our lives, although there are still many occasions when we need that adrenalin rush for short spaces of time. However what is tending to happen more and more is that the stressful episodes are happening over and over again on a daily basis and so the body is continually producing adrenalin and cortisol and this is having a detrimental effect on our bodies.
One of the negatives of continual high levels of adrenalin is that it can adversely affect the immune system. This in turn means that we are more prone to illness and disease. Unfortunately most of us find it difficult to accept that we are stressed and so are unlikely to do anything to reduce stress in our lives. It seems that we get so used to living stressful lives that we eventually believe that it is the norm. What then happens is that we continue in the same vein until our bodies tell us it is time to re-evaluate our lives. For me it was adrenal fatigue but for others it maybe a serious illness that eventually stops them in their tracks.
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got"
That quote has been my mantra ever since I was "stopped in my tracks". Nothing will change in our lives unless we take the initiative to do things differently. That might mean making practical changes or it may mean making changes in the way we think and the way we view life. It is vital that we do make these changes if we are to achieve stress relief
I tried the various managements techniques such as meditation, yoga, exercise etc to reduce the tension. All of these helped a bit but my real recovery started when I realised that I had to change the way I looked at life. I needed to change my conscious thought and change the way I dealt with life.
I began to realize I was sabotaging my own life and no amount of yoga or meditation was going to change that. I came across a book by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth. That book changed my perception of things and helped me to understand what had happened to me and how I had been instrumental in my own stress and subsequently how I could be instrumental in my own healing.
I would love to hear your comments and maybe share how you have dealt with the stress in your life.