How do you know if you are stressed?

I was at a networking event recently, sharing that I work with people who have become stressed, and one lady said, “But Rosie, do people really know that they are stressed, I didn’t until I hit a brick wall!” That got me thinking. Before I started on my spiritual and personal development journey, I hadn’t acknowledged when I was stressed either. It took a fall from my horse Jack to bring me to that realisation!

I didn’t know that I could be without the tension in my neck and shoulders, the anxiety in my stomach, the sleepless nights, or the tightness in my chest. I thought it was a part of who I was!

How do you know when you are stressed?

Do you feel stuck, overwhelmed, exhausted, or burnt out?
Are you struggling to communicate effectively in a relationship?
Are you having sleep problems?
Do you have tension in your neck and shoulders, a tight chest or restricted breathing?
Are you over-eating or under-eating?
Are you frustrated because there is never enough time?

These could be signs of stress, warnings that your body is giving you to stop, take time out and reflect.
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance” Nathaniel Branden.

Fortunately, I am now able to take time out when I need to rebalance. I’ve learned that I can be free of the uncomfortable physical sensations and can feel calm and relaxed. I can still be challenged by the voices in my head which tell me ‘I haven’t got time to stop’, ‘I can’t be selfish’ or ‘I should put others before myself’. But having experienced the calm, I now know it’s possible and I have developed myself a mindfulness exercise to help me relax, and I will share it with you now.

Mindfulness exercise
1. Find somewhere you will not be interrupted, which is warm and comfortable.
2. Sit or lie down and close your eyes.
3. Listen to the sounds around you.
4. Notice any smells.
5. Notice the quality of the air on your skin.
6. Notice your body sensations – what do you feel in your head, neck, arms, shoulders, breathing, stomach, back and legs?
7. Notice any emotions that arise as you sit or lie still? Are you irritated by having to sit still or are you perhaps sad that you don’t do this more regularly?
8. Notice your thoughts – are they of the past, the future or on what you are noticing in the present?
9. Bring your awareness back to your environment and open your eyes.
10. Notice how you feel.

So, the next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or you can’t think straight STOP and make time for yourself.

In 2017 the statistics show that on average for each person 23.8 working days were lost due to stress, depression, or anxiety. It’s so prevalent that I decided to start a short mindfulness programme to offer my clients the opportunity to ‘Just Be’. My ‘Just Be’ morning programme runs for 6 weeks on Thursday mornings from 10am to 11.30a.m. and starts on Thursday 10th May. My ‘Just Be’ evening programme runs for 6 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 7.30p.m. and starts on Tuesday 8th May. If you would like more information, then do get in touch.

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