Drowning in Stress

Updated: Jun 13

Experiencing stress is a part of living

The brain and body’s response to life’s demands

The pressures you feel on different parts of your world and yourself

You stress about money

relationships

breakups

work

home

death

birth

change

holidays

family

health

marriage

divorce

the future

the past

the present


Sometimes stress feels like a light poke

pins and needles

a long consistent press that never seems to dull

firm pressure stabbing in multiple places at once

a shove pushing you hard and it feels like you’re falling

being trapped in a room and the walls are closing in

a straitjacket getting tighter and tighter with no escape

drowning


You stress shop

watch

eat

drive

scroll

drink

binge

sleep

smoke

speed


You want to give up

give in

run away

pull your hair out

disappear

Yet you just keep pushing through

Because you have to

it’s all you know

you have no other choice

people are depending on you

you’re scared

there’s no reverse

you’ve tried everything

And so, you keep going

Pushing forward

You shift things

you juggle

you buckle down

you procrastinate

you obsess

you ignore

you work harder

you retreat

you do it all yourself

And you get by

Expecting change

Waiting for relief

On repeat

Over and over

Again and again

Until you’re free

Or you break


You don’t realize the impact stress has on the body

Hurting your heart

digestion

endocrine

muscles

immune system

Unexplainable pains

Preventable accidents

Injuries that won’t heal

Unceasing tension

Problems that don’t make sense given your age and health


Stress changes your brain

Decreases your capacity to think

remember

decide

regulate

The mind and body are connected, interwoven

Stress builds up trauma in the mind

Just like scar tissue that forms when the body responds to an injury

The accumulation impacts your thoughts

behaviors

emotions

It seeps out in hurtful words

overwhelming emotions

fatigue

self doubt

unhealthy behaviors

harmful acts


Maybe keeping busy

Never stopping

Always moving

Is easier than sitting still

slowing down

taking a break

relaxing

feeling


Sometimes you’re carrying around baggage

you picked up decades ago

You don’t recognize the ways you learned to cope

as a child

Shaped by your experience

often full of way more pain

neglect

and abuse than you admit or remember


Maybe stress is your body asking for healing, for change

Hear me

Help me

I need something

STOP the stress screams


Let's pause

Inhale

Close your eyes and sigh


I can help you calm

Understand the intention of protection

the patterns of behaviors to avoid the pain beneath

Tolerate the uncomfortable feelings

Reassess the beliefs that shaped your stress reaction

Regulate and stay online

Meet unmet needs

Express yourself in ways that relieve the responsibility

of the part using stress to protect you


Be free to say Yes on purpose

No whenever you need

I want that

I changed my mind

Stop

Don’t talk to me like that

That's not okay

I'm angry

I don't like that

That that hurts me

That's not about me

That one is about me

There's something about me I'm not happy with

And I still love myself

I am worthy

I deserve love

Unconditionally


It's okay to take care of me

I can make a choice

I can choose me

I can rest

Ask for help

Walk away

Smile

Be silly

Laugh

Play

I can be here

In this moment

I can trust myself

I can protect myself


Thank you to the part of me that poked and pressed relentlessly

Thank you stress for teaching me

My priorities are off key

I'll pay attention

To what's important

And align with my new understandings


To decrease stress

Fuel the belief

I am okay in a world that is okay

Not perfect, but okay

Act in ways according to your own self discovered and chosen preferences

instead of fear or habit

Nurture, teach, and protect yourself so your body and mind can feel more at ease


The stressors of life will always be there in some way, shape, or form

You can reduce external pressures and ease your strain

You can choose which stressors to embrace

and for all the remaining forces, you can change the way you respond and feel

You can rewrite the story you live by and form new ways of being exactly what you need





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