(Post by Gonçalo Duque Plaza. Clinical Psychologist, Life Coach and Hypnotherapist)
Did you notice today what is your body telling you?
The question may seem strange to you, but the truth is that the body is the best barometer of our discomfort, to indicate what is out of order.
- Do you sometimes feel an increase in your heart rate or blood pressure?
- Do you feel discomfort or contractions in the abdominal area?
- Do you feel sometimes dizziness or light head?
- Are you agitated or nervous without cause?
- Do you suddenly feel frozen, as “without a drop of blood” on your limbs?
- Do you frequently feel your respiratory rate increase without reason?
These are just a few of the signals that our body sends us to give notice of a situation of anxiety or stress.
Anxiety is a natural response of the body, which prepares us for environmental changes, leading us to a state of alert, and ready to react to any situation we could find.
However, this state of anxiety or stress exerts a tension that triggers a set of organic, mental, psychological and behavioural responses. These responses trigger significant physiological changes on a set of glands regulating the body.
When this state of anxiety or stress is maintained at high levels and/or prolonged over time, it can finish wearing body and mind. In other words, it would be as if the engine of a machine was in permanent operation at high speed, to the point of reaching dysfunctional proportions.
Therefore, psychosomatic ailments may arise, or a greater predisposition to the development of diseases due to impaired function or injuries of body organs. We would be talking about ailments such as digestive ulcers, hypertension, blood pressure disorders, gastrointestinal inflammation or metabolic disorders, among others.
Having made this observation, it is essential that we spend more time taking care of ourselves, reducing the exaggerated rate of the motor of our “machine”, in order to promote our physical and mental health.
Leisure and relaxation moments are an excellent mechanism to combat mental, physical and psychological stress. It is the way to replace unpleasant thoughts with more positive and relaxing ones.
You just need to stop for a while and allow yourself a few (long) minutes.
Here are a few simple exercises that you can practice. They will help you connect body and mind, and thus reduce the state of tension caused by the fast pace we are trying to live:
Choose a place in your home that is yours alone and surround yourself with objects that give you comfort.
Establish a daily period to be in that space, without discomfort, and doing an activity that relaxes you. You can choose to read a book or magazine, listen to soothing music, or do meditation – mobiles are prohibited!
Make that moment a habit.
Once a month schedule a different activity with your friends.
The mind needs social reinforcement to activate the release of substances that promote well-being and tranquillity.
List five activities that bring you pleasure.
They can be simple things like reading, going to the cinema or the theatre, visit a new restaurant or walking in nature. Try to do these activities every month of the year.
You will thus be sending your brain a message of self-esteem.
Define three things that help you calm down.
Write them on a sheet, and next to each one, detail what you must do to carry out that action.
When you feel anxious, go to that worksheet and try one of those defined options.
Start a leisure activity that you have never experienced before.
It can be a new sport, dancing, writing, drawing, painting or learning a new language.
Organise a “playlist” with music that encourages you.
Give it the name “Top Energy.” Music is a powerful instrument at the service of our brain, managing to activate components responsible for the regulation of our own emotions.
The challenge is simple:
LOOK FOR YOU, AND SAVE TIME TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
We only have one body and one mind.
If you think you need help to develop this process, do not hesitate to book an appointment (Spanish and Portuguese) in our social networks: