Stress is one of the hot topics of the 21st Century. The truth is that it has been around since the early ages and it’s nothing new in itself. However, the stress we experience today is much different from the primal one.
What causes stress?
Reasons for stress can be very different but what they all have in common is that we get an uncomfortable feeling inside of us. That means no matter what is the external cause or trigger, it all ends up in your head and your thinking. And those thoughts can become distorted with time because you are always on high alert. It’s exhausting.
What really causes this feeling inside us are actually elevated levels of a hormone named cortisol. This hormone helps us to deal with stressful situations and is meant to make us more focused and ready to act on the danger. At least that is how it was meant to work.
The difference between escaping a mammoth and dealing with work-related chronic stress nowadays is that we are experiencing it on a regular basis. And that’s definitely not good. Our bodies are constantly in high alert mode and we never get to have the “down-time” we so desperately need.
What are the 5 signs of stress?
- Feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated
- Sleeping problems, either too much or not enough sleep
- Low energy, rapid heartbeat, chest-pain, regular headaches
How to manage my situation?
There is a scientifically proven method that helps us with managing and reducing stress. And it’s called “calming down your mind” a.k.a. meditation, mindfulness, stillness, you name it.
Our prefrontal cortex, the front part of our brain which is located at our forehead, is where analytical logical thinking is happening. And the frequency of thoughts directly contributes to our stress levels.
We normally produce between 6,000 and 50,000 thoughts per day. (Read this article I wrote) And knowing, that you can actually try to reduce that number intentionally and control your thoughts and your reaction to the thoughts, is very empowering information.
When we are not in the flow state, our mind works like a crazy machine but rarely gives a consistent output. When we reduce our thinking frequency, we are more likely to tap into the state of flow and produce outstanding results with ease and without becoming exhausted.
If you feel you might be suffering from chronic stress, do not ignore the signs. Act on it and do something about it. If you don’t know what to do, ask someone for help. For milder forms of chronic stress, you may hire a coach like me, but if you feel you’re way past that first level, you might consider a psychotherapist.