Relaxed and Rational…
Relaxed and Rational…
Healthy decisions are made at a rational level. We take input from our emotions and from other data, but it’s with the intelligence that we need to make a decision.
One of the major problems with stress is that it interferes with our ability to make RATIONAL DECISIONS, because it shuts down our frontal lobe (logical
part of our brain). The more primitive part of our brain is turned on and we have an emotional reaction to any given situation. This makes it so that in the middle of a stressor we are not thinking about the consequences of our actions. We are only thinking about survival. For example, we may grab certain foods we wouldn’t normally eat, not thinking about how this is going to effect our health and how we will feel the next day. We may say mean things to a loved one, not thinking about how it is going to effect them. Little things become BIG DEALS! Stress can fog our ability to see reality. Many addicts will fall down again, because of a stressful situation. We may even develop addictions as a way to cope with stress.
The SOLUTION is to recognize when we are feeling stressed. In that split second we need to use our intelligence to make the decision to try to get out of the stress response by using one of the relaxation techniques below.
How do you recognize when you are stressed out?
Usually, when we are stressed, we aren’t breathing right. Notice if you are taking more shallow breaths. Does your chest feel tight? Is your mind racing? Are you having lots of irrational thoughts? This can be a good indication that you are experiencing stress. Stop whatever you are doing, and practice one of the relaxation techniques from below!
How to initiate the relaxation response:
- Inhale Essential Oils: Drop a few drops of lavender or Frankincense on the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and cup your nose. Inhale for about a minute
- Deep Belly Breaths: Inhale through your nose and let your belly expand like a balloon. Hold your breath at the top. Exhale through your mouth making a “HA” sound and let your belly deflate back towards your spine. Continue for a few minutes. After a few “HA” breaths (cleansing breaths), you can start to breathe in and out through your nose.
- Mantra Meditation+Deep Belly Breaths: Inhale through your nose and let your belly expand. While you are inhaling meditate silently on the sound vibration “Om Hari Om”. Exhale and say “Om Hari Om” out loud in an elongated fashion or silently to yourself. This is like “Om” breathing at the beginning or end of a yoga class. You can choose any mantra (Name of God) to meditate on for this exercise (Ex: Yaweh, Adonai, Allah, Govinda)
Practicing relaxation is LIKE EXERCISING A MUSCLE. The more you catch yourself in the stress response and use relaxation techniques, the more quickly you can come out of that state. You will also be able to recognize more easily the difference between being “stressed out” and “relaxed”. When you are relaxed you receive blood flow to your frontal lobe, and can therefore, make rational decisions! Don’t make a big decision when you are stressed!
NOTE: The computer, internet, Facebook, Twitter, iphones, ipads, etc. are all stressful to the mind. Being connected to these things all day can really stress you out! That is why it is even more important to schedule in stress relief techniques to your daily schedule. Cheers