Body Boosting for Stress Relief

(by Leigh Johnson)

TFCC’s life coach, Leigh Johnson, had the pleasure of hosting our monthly ‘Let’s Get Talking’ conversation last night. The topic was a pertinent one for our busy lifestyles: Managing Stress.
What became clear from the stories of all participants was the incredible resource our bodies are – both in warning us about too much stress and in participating in the healing process itself.
The impact of stress cannot be over-estimated and it is increasingly evident through statistics that show stress-related illnesses increasingly being the number one cause of premature deaths in our western societies; that we are not listening to our bodies. Every single participant at the conversation last night had experienced burnout at least once in their lives and the symptoms of this were scary.
So, what are some of the ways you can use your bodies to support and heal you? Here are a few ideas we discussed:
• Meditation or mindfulness: In order to be able to tune in and hear the wisdom of our bodies, we need to be still enough to hear them. There are a myriad of wonderful practices that you can participate in to reach this stillness. The key? Persevere! It is not easier to quieten our thoughts, so be patient and gracious with yourself. Discipline yourself to do at least 10 – 20 minutes of meditation a day.
• Exercise: It is essential that we engage in exercise in order to build and support our bodies, but many of us are unaware of the crucial role movement plays in assisting with stress relief. The act of moving, takes us into a different space and, in many instances, can quite literally change our mind frame and help us to think more positively. For trauma release, vigorous exercise or tremor therapy can be instrumental in tuning in to our body’s natural capacity to heal.
• Nutrition: It is astounding how much of an impact nutrition can have on our well-being and ability to handle stress. The catch-22 is that stress can cause a breakdown in the ability of our body to absorb or use essential nutrients and in this way, it can cause health problems. Equally, if our diets are deficient – and most of ours are! – we will be lacking in the support we need when our systems are flooded by a sustained stream of the stress hormone, cortisol.
• Sleep: Our bodies need sleep – at least 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for an adult. Stress can affect us profoundly, either by causing extreme fatigue and the need to sleep all day, or by causing insomnia – or both of these. Disrupted sleep patterns are a great warning sign to heed, and getting your sleep right is crucial to combating the negative effects of stress.
Too much stress – especially if for a sustained period of time – is a serious concern. As well as impaired concentration, mood challenges, forgetfulness and a myriad of other symptoms, it can lead to irreversible nerve damage, as well as anxiety and depression.
It is also not something that you need to face on your own! If you are struggling with managing your stress, please book an appointment with Leigh Johnson for life coaching that can assist you to pick up negative thought patterns and behaviours and to create more balance in your life.
If you are suffering from severe anxiety and/or depression, it is essential for you to get help. We have wonderful therapists and counsellors here at TFCC that will be able to walk you through the darkness.
Please book with Carol: info@familycounsellingcentre.co.za | 072 375 6089

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