I have always thought that stress was something that happened to people who were at their wits end. The last time I remember believing I was stressed was when I was in a difficult work situation that I needed to leave. Over the past few year's I've come to a place where I feel happy in my life. There isn't lots of unnecessary drama, I don't feel over pulled and stretched. When I do feel out of balance I can reassess and none of the shifts take away that I feel happy. So naturally I haven't been letting myself label how I feel as "stressed".
When I moved from Ohio to Michigan and was working in Indiana, I remember people checking in with me, asking how I was doing with all the moving and living in 3 places at one time. I would never tell them I was stressed, I honestly didn't believe I was. I would simply say "it's all temporary!"
This month I've been observing my body, the shifts it's making, the tension it's holding, the signs it's giving. All of them, like twitching eye, weight gain, restless sleep, point to stress. I even recently did a xyto scanner for Young Living Oils and it revealed oils that all help with stress. That's when I realized I needed to look at what all these things had in common and reassess; am I stressed?
When our bodies produce a stress response, our heart rate increases, breath quickens, and muscles tighten. Anything that induces this, causes our adrenal glands to produces a stress response to help us get through the difficulty.
Over the weekend, I took a day trip to Chicago, my day in the city was full of learning, good food, and fantastic people, driving home I felt wiped out, like I wanted to crawl into a hole and turn off but how could I feel stressed if I had fun? That's when I had a breakthrough. Stress isn't the opposite of happiness. Stress and happiness can happen at the same time!
Spending the day being extroverted when I am naturally introverted puts stress on the body. Driving into the city, finding parking, getting to places on time, exploring, it is all unknown and spikes some stress response. Working out causes stress on body. Receiving constant notifications that request your attention causes stress on the body. Making big decisions, having tough conversations, rushing to get out the door. That is stress. And while I don't have to label myself as "stressed" my body is still experiencing stress.
If a body continues to be stressed with out finding a way to relax, our adrenals can become fatigued and we can become sick. While I don't know exactly what I am going to do now that I realize how stressed my body is, I do know my first steps are to meditate daily, take more baths, do face masks, take walks, eat slowly, give myself time do what I need to do and what I want to do and most importantly continue to listen to my body, because life is an on-going wellness experiment.