Coping Mechanisms

Life gets tough. To be honest its a challenge on a day to day basis to balance doing multiple things and having fun. Then there’s the extra things like washing and ironing and tidying my eyebrows that need to fit in. So sometimes its all a little overwhelming and there’s the stress being able to meet the deadlines and be able to enjoy life too.

Recently for me this has been hard, balancing a job, education and home-life is full on. But I recently discovered the importance of breathing. Yes that’s right breathing. I bought a book on ‘Mindfulness’ and I know some of you will probably think what a waste of money but it was worth it. A key line was you can’t properly care for others if your first priority is not you. It may sound selfish, well it is. But if you think of it it’s true. If you aren’t looking after your health and get a cold how can you carry on for example? So number one; look after yourself before everything else. Don’t say I’ll get sleep later, or eat better next week, be in control.

That leads me on to stress and cortisol. Regular stress is not good for the body, there’s nothing wrong with stress in times of flight or fight but everyday stress increases the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which means your body stops less important tasks to prepare for flight or fight. For examples your nails and hair may stop growing, your body is at a stop until the stress is controlled. Find a way to control that. For me it included focusing on my breathing. I found a part of breathing which i could focus on (which was my nose) and every time I felt stressed I would bring my attention to breathing from my nose, you can concentrate on your stomach as you breateh or mouth.

Reminding myself of my breathing re-directed my stress (i.e. I stopped stressing for the moment). Quite often, whilst stressing I wasn’t breathing so it reminder me TO BREATHE! Its a training exercise where I hope my concentration levels increase so as I focus on my breathing, I can re-direct my stress for longer. But being mindful about my body and the importance of controlling as much of my own well-being is essential for me to be able to give the most to all the things I do in a day to day basis.

So as simple as it sounds, put your well-being first. The better you are, the better you feel, the more you can do. Stress is part of life, but take each breath as it comes. I know how overwhelming it can be but its’s all about baby steps. At the moment I’m in the thick of a lot of things. So I’ll keep you updated on whether this coping mechanism works.

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