The Stress Reaction Cycle
Posted on April 05 2021,
Stress is not a one-time event, it's a cycle with phases that repeat on us countless times a day. This means that it is possible to interrupt the chain of events and prevent the endless vicious cycle.
Have you considered how often you feel agitated or stressed throughout your day? Has it occurred to you that perhaps you're stuck in a vicious stress cycle? What triggers your stress response? We may not be able to shape the world around us and prevent stressful events heading our way, but we can modify the way in which we respond. By doing this, we can create more balance in our mind, body and overall health.
There are many options available to you. One easy method to break this perpetual stress reaction cycle is to signal to the body/mind that the external stressor has finished.
If you experience a stressful moment or a long exhausting day, try engaging in an activity that tells your body and mind that the stress-inducing trigger is over. This might be helpful immediately after a stressful moment, or after a string of stressful events.
The activity which you choose to break the cycle should be personal to you; enjoyable, somehow challenging and totally immersive. Think outside the box here and try to utilise all your senses.
Put on some music at the end of the working day and have a dance/workout. Spend five minutes doing some breathing exercises with your eyes closed after receiving a difficult work email. Simply get changed out of your work clothes and savour a cup of tea (with the laptop closed!) after a hard day's work. If you signal to your brain that the stressful moment is over and you are safe, your body will respond physiologically by bringing you out of a high alert state.
So, try some activities that are enjoyable, challenging and immersive, be consistent with it and reap the benefits.
Yours in balance,
Founder & Physiotherapist of ATO life.