Living with chronic stress is like perpetually being chased by a tiger. Our minds revving at stress speed, simultaneously idling in stress mode. We have learned to cope with our perpetual, proverbial tiger chasing, so much so, that often we don't even recognize that we are in survival mode. We believe that indigestion is just a part of our life. That we're prone to picking up whatever bug may be floating around. Low sex drive is just what happens as we get older and so is lack of sleep. Irritability comes with age, as does aches and pains in the body. We excuse the fog in our brains as lack of caffeine and forgetfulness on brain-farts. The truth is, much of what we experience is related to ongoing, unmanaged stress, not the actual stress of being chased by the tiger, but the stress that is perceived withIN our mind. It is the result of allowing our mind to create and recreate scenarios that will likely never happen. Replaying the argument in our heads over and over, thinking about what response we should have had OR anticipating the upcoming confrontation with ongoing dress rehearsals in our mind about how we're going to do this or that. It's allowing the fear to take over. It's saying 'yes', when what we wanted to say was 'no'. It's the worry. The fret. The drive for perfection. The control. It's the suppressed emotions. It's staying in the relationship that is sucking the life out of you for the sake of the kids. It's the stress of the family dynamics. The pressure of school. It's all of those things and more, that rob us of the joy of NOW. These things bleed us of our life force, leaving us vulnerable to a host of physical and mental conditions that we have normalized. It is the result of not giving our body the opportunity to properly experience rest, relax, restore... RESET. It is not normal for our bodies to attack themselves. Chrones, cholitis, IBS, fibromyalga, chronic fatigue, asthma, high blood pressure, poor performance, insomnia, high cholesterol, thyroid disorders, anxiety, depression..... These experiences are can be significantly altered, if not reversed through returning our bodies back into a healthy balance of tension and relaxation, by spending time in the brainwaves of rest (Alpha, Theta, Delta). These are the brainwave states that offer our bodies the opportunity to shut off the stress response and return to a space of ease. These are the states where we can replenish our life force, call it recharging the battery, if you wish. This is the space of true transformation, where we can let go, relax into just being... not doing.
How do we tame that tiger and experience the reset that we need? The best ways I know of is through the divine practices of Yoga Nidra and Sound Therapy. Both of these practices offer the space for one to reach these nurturing and restorative brainwave states of Alpha, Theta and Delta that produce the deep rest and reset we need to have daily to maintain a healthy balance of tension and relaxation. The irony about taking the time to integrate these practices into our lives, is that we become more productive in our lives. Yes, more productive. With time and practice, these restorative brainwaves give us back our body and mind. They lift the brain fog, they create space for both sides of our brain to work in harmony (coherence), boost our creativity, make us less reactionary and more responsive, restore healthy sleeping patterns and keep our immune function high. Helping our hearts slow, our blood pressure fall, our arteries flow uninhibited. Our body is given the time and space it needs to repair and restore at every level. Shedding what is no longer of service to us, including all those repetitive, unproductive thoughts and ways of being. Benefits that abound, by simply being in stillness. The tiger becomes tamed and we once again, become master of our own minds.