Stress disconnects us from ourselves.
Grey, detached and unrecognisable
It takes a normally effervescent, smiley, fun person & sucks their life force out of them. Quite literally too – as the breath shallows to a barely re-energising, apathetic exchange of air; of life’s energy.
Deep stress does that – it drains a person of their usual, lovely, self & replaces it with a distracted, non-present shell of a version.
Albeit temporarily. (One hopes.)
And you can see it – men & women who are generally gregarious creatures become grey, detached from their true essence and almost unrecognisable to their usual self
I exaggerate, of course.
Persistent stress does disconnect us. It does so mentally and physically.
It puts all of our attention in our head (or computer screen, or email exchange, or in our phone…), & allows our senses to be stimulated by ever moving shiny objects (or YouTube videos…).
And in doing so, it disconnects us from our breath, our body and it disconnects us from our conscious awareness of ourselves.
And it’s pervasive in today’s way of living.
What reconnects you to yourself?
So the question is, what reconnects you to yourself? What’s your medium to unwind? Maybe it’s a run? Maybe it’s a cheeky beer*? (and then another one). Maybe it’s an hour on your mat?
*Substitute here a G&T, or a glass of wine…or a bottle?!
All will work to a lesser or greater degree. All have pros and cons.
If a run is your go-to when you need to destress, great. But what about when you can’t get out? Or are injured? What do you rely on then? Or does the internal percolator keep heating up and heating up…?!
Alcohol – super social, a looser-of-the-tongue to help you say what you really want to say. Great. The trouble with alcohol is that it numbs everything. And it has the effect of disconnecting us even further.
It puts the emphasis further away from the body, as its uninhibiting effects make us more liberal in the head! It further disconnects us from our awareness of ourselves. And it’s super easy for alcohol to become the way in which we relax. And yet it’s completely the opposite of relaxation on our body.
Piling toxins into the system, asking the liver to crank up its workload…and then once we’ve had a belly full – we fall straight into a non-sleep.
Not a replenishing, rejuvenating deep sleep…but rather, an oop-let’s-just-keep-it-all-together-sleep..!
But it’s become our social norm go-to.
And what about getting on the mat? Also great…moving out our stresses is a sophisticated way to achieve relaxation…provided that you’ve got the time, the space…and the inclination!
Destress on the go
Of course, there are so many ways we can choose to chill out. And there’s one way that needs no extra equipment, takes up no additional space, can be done anywhere, and requires no further resources that we have to pay out for.
We can breathe…
The breath – reconnects our head to our body. Literally too, if you think about it – the breath enters via the head, travels down the junction that is the neck and ends up in the body. It’s not a coincidence that the breath is where we’ll also find that reconnection (when we’ve become somewhat detached from our present selves).
And of course, we’re all breathing all of the time – hopefully. So the next question is, where? Where are you breathing?
To explore next time…
In the meantime, cheers! ; )