Is stress making you look stupid?
I recently encountered two stressed-out men who have a habit of scrunching-up their face and rubbing their forehead vigorously when talking about things that are causing them some mental challenge. No doubt it's serving some unconscious purpose for them but it looks very strange. And so it got me thinking about the little stress relief gestures we all use when the sensation of tension or anxiety comes to our body. If we're not consciously aware of how we're feeling we will do something to discharge that tension but because we're doing it unconsciously, it's often others that notice it before us. My daughter kindly pointed out that I have a way of holding my hands if I'm really concentrating on something. And apparently, her headmaster used to stick his tongue out and pull a weird face when writing on the blackboard (that makes me feel better about my hand thing).
So this podcast is to remind us all to take time to know when we feel stressed and actively discharge it from our system rather than letting it leak out in a gesture that doesn't really cut it for us.
We can do that by routinely making space to let off steam every hour: set a timer and stop and take five deep breaths.
Every day: take a walk, even if it's just for a few minutes - feel your feet on the ground, and let your shoulders and neck relax.
You can put reminder notes on the fridge, light switches, doors, even the bathroom mirror to remind yourself to drop your shoulders, take a deep breath and relax. How about adding a little self-care ritual to the end of your day? Before you settle down to sleep, you can take a few minutes to discharge whatever tension and stress you've picked up during work, school runs, etc. Just take a few minutes out to use one of our guided relaxation audios, a favourite meditation, a piece of music, or breathing exercise, to help you relax and wind down before you drift off to sleep.
It's all About Awareness
It's the things that we aren't aware of, running like a stealth bomber under the detection ability of our own radar system that eventually sneak up and cause us damage. Those two guys with their frantic face rubbing and grimacing serve as a good reminder for us all to stop regularly and check in with how our body is trying to prompt us to discharge stress. To take a minute or two often to properly, actively, allow stress and tension to leave our body - with awareness.
photo by BrittneyBush
This post was also recorded for our iTunes podcast: "How are You Discharging Your Stress?" listen here>>
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