Stress is a Mother F*@#er. It can cause serious disease causing inflammation in your body and cells, throw of your sleep habits (too much and too little), and suck the energy right out of your day. If you are feeling stressed and have things to do, it can seem nearly impossible to do them, and do them well, which of course leads to more stress.
Stress can cause strain in your relationships, your lifestyle, and your health. It can pop-up and affect people differently, with different triggers for us all. If you are anything like me, one of the biggest sources of stress comes from indecision.
When there is a big decision or question to answer, and my head and hear tare in different places, or perhaps bouncing back and forth, my stress peaks, my anxiety goes through the roof, my digestive system feels like it burns, and I (feel like) I gain 10 pounds overnight. I want to crawl under the table and hide, while someone else makes the important decision for me.
If you’ve ever felt this way, on any level, there are a few things you can do to get out from under the table and make the decision happen:
One of the biggest things you can do is to restore your breath back to normal. A fast-paced breath encourages your central nervous system to engage into fight or flight mode, making you more nervous and anxious. And the more nervous and anxious you feel, the faster your breath. Slow and steady breaths, counting them or perhaps just focusing on simply breathing, can slow your systems and drop you back a steadier state, where decisions flow freely.
Watch your body position as you breathe too. Sit in Child’s Pose or in a simple seat, without opening the chest or spine to deeply. When you lengthen and open through the front of the body, you stimulate the nervous system, which can make you feel more anxious. Instead, do the opposite, keep the spine neutral or fold forward, encouraging yourself to find calm and peace from your breath outward.
Moving fast can be one the worst things to do when you feel anxious and stuck in a decision, but so can sitting completely still. Instead, take your time and move with intention. Protect your heart and give your mind the space to think. Follow your deep breath through a steady yoga practice, or on a meditative walk. As you move slowly, you’ll bring your heart rate down, your breath back to normal, and ground yourself to better make the decision you need to make.
Excited or Trapped:
Sometimes, excitement and anxiety feel the same. There is an element of fear to both that can get you feeling frazzled, sweaty, and short of breath. Take a moment to see if you can determine which direction you are leaning towards. If it’s pure anxiety, you might feel trapped and constricted when you think of saying yes. If it’s excitement, you might feel the excitement as expanding and be overwhelming (eventually in a good way) when you think of saying yes.
Get Up, but Slowly:
When you do decide to move and make a decision, it can seem like the weight of the world is on your shoulders – really. As I was stressing out over a decision, I stood up in my yoga practice and felt a heavy weight on my upper body. Rising slowly helped me breathe again, slow down, and address my concerns. Only then was I able to get up and move again with ease.
While these won’t necessarily give you the answer you seek, taking these steps, all or just one, will help you get that much closer to the answer, while you step back into your body, your mind, and your life.
Now let’s take action together. In the comments below, share which step you are going to try, or already have tried, and how it will help you move forward and through your anxiety to your decision.
In the next few days, I’ll be giving you another way to help not only beat stress, but grow in all other areas of your life, through your health and happiness. Look for an email coming to you soon!