Sometimes we feel an irresistible wave of fatigue washing over us and we are compelled to stop and rest. Often, this is a consequence of a lifestyle that is just too hectic. Stress wears us down. Fatigue is the language of our brain, body and particularly our immune system. It is telling us, “slow down, take it easy.”
When rest must wait
The way our body reacts to acute stress is through a process called “fight or flight”; it describes an inborn mechanism of survival. You see, we are designed to survive. If we are in a situation our brain decides is dangerous, our adrenal glands secrete adrenaline to gear us up for “fighting” or “fleeing.”
The danger is that we react this way if the situation is real or imagined. For example, we react with fight or flight responses when we see a dangerous snake. But we also react the same way if we think we see a dangerous snake. It’s all the same to your brain; so, your adrenal glands prepare your body and mind.
When we are confronted with a dangerous situation it is not the time to sit and rest. This is a time of action – fight or flight. Rest must wait in circumstances like this.
When was the last time you felt threatened by a dangerous snake, a snarling dog, or (oh my!) a lion, tiger or bear? I will venture a guess that this hasn’t happened in a while and doesn’t happen very often. Yet, if you are like the rest of us living in the “civilized” world, you probably feel stressed quite often, maybe even daily.
The stress we face today is chronic stress. It comes from time urgency, performance standards, deadlines and expectations. It is created by our own thoughts and our polluted, noisy, hectic environment. The stress is rarely acute, it’s chronic; the danger is rarely imminent, it is assigned a sense of urgency by our own mind.
Stress is often only real in the culture we have created or co-created with our peer group.
Still, it is our reality. And until we can co-create another reality with more rainbows and butterflies and fewer lions, tigers and bears, we need to create strategies for the times when rest must wait.
If you are stressed, pause and take three full, deep breaths. This will often break the cycle of adrenaline and allow you to return to normal functioning. You can do this in less than 60 seconds! Practice deep breathing for 10 minutes, twice daily and 20 minutes before bedtime.
If you feel grumpy, pause and drink two full glasses of pure water. Grumpiness is often a sign of dehydration. You can often do this in less than 60 seconds. Calculate the water your body needs every day (half your body weight in ounces) and focus on drinking the majority of this amount early in the day to support detoxification.
Sleep and Sublingual B-12
When you reach the point where you just can’t think anymore, then you need more sleep. The stress you feel may actually be causing your brain to shrink! Sublingual B-12 can often help restore clarity for now and allow you to plan better sleep tonight. Although it takes several minutes for the Sublingual B-12 to dissolve, you can start the energy cycle by simply slipping a little pink pill under your tongue. The people with the highest amounts of Vitamin B-12 in their bloodstream often experience the least brain shrinkage as they age. Perhaps better sleep and more B-12 can help you deal with your daily stress before it shrinks your brain!
Finally, remember that this reaction to stress is called fight or flight. To flee means to get away from the source of danger. Historically, we flee by walking, running or swimming away from danger. (In my world I have added bicycling!) So, to discharge our stress and recharge our energy we need to walk, run, swim or bicycle daily as a stress management strategy. These may not be socially available in your circumstances; what is available?