Holistic Living

Stress and Emotions

“How are you?” “I’m stressed!!”

Does that sound familiar to you? Heck yes! I can relate to this.

What is stress? Well, there’s a whole lot of bodily functions playing out when we’re stressed but stress itself? What is it?

What is stress?

The word stress has become a label that we give to feelings that make us feel stressed. Usually we are feeling anxious, sad, lonely, frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, unheard, misunderstood, resentful, jealous, worried…[insert a number of possible negative feelings] and it’s these feelings that make us feel stressed.

So what’s actually happening in our body when we experience a feeling like this?

We automatically switch on our sympathetic nervous system – also known as the ‘stress response’ or the ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response. It’s our brain, not us consciously, that is in charge of switching the stress response on and off and when it’s on, a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones like adrenalin and cortisol surge into our bloodstream and do things like make our heart beat faster, increase our blood pressure, increase our blood glucose levels, suppress or shut down our digestive system, immune system and reproductive system, shut down the thinking part of our brain!

We may not be aware that all this is going (under the bonnet, so to speak) but you may have noticed that when you’re stressed, you feel less of a desire to eat and you may feel something like heart palpitations and shallower breathing too…this is the physiology of stress.

All of this is great if we have to face a danger or a threat: we are primed to respond like a pro!

However, often times it’s just a series of negative thoughts or feelings that turns our stress response on (the brain cannot differentiate between the negative/stress inducing feelings & thoughts and a real threat or danger). So all this physiology is for nothing – and we’re left with a digestive system that isn’t interested in digesting food and an immune system that won’t be any good at fighting infections and a reproductive system that isn’t feeling conducive to be making babies.

This goes some of the way to explain why living with moderate-high levels stress all the time, without creating small daily resets, affects your gut health, makes you sick and can be a cause of infertility.

So let’s cycle back around to the beginning.

It’s feelings (and thoughts) that make you feel stressed, right? So if we could tap into how we’re feeling, rather than just saying we’re stressed, we’ll be making a start on the road to resolution.

Easier said than done, I know. It’s possible though.

We just have to become more aware of the thoughts we’re having (around 60,000 thoughts a day).

We have to acknowledge the feelings we’re having. If you’re feeling sad, have a cry. If you’re feeling angry, go do a sweaty workout or put some loud music on and dance. Once we acknowledge the feelings we’re having, there are a few tools that you can use to help you work through them.

These 4 tools are;

Essential Oils: a massive emotional support to me and many, many women that I know. So many options to choose from. The plant chemistry that you find in doTERRA’s essential oils mean that they are therapeutic (ie not just a nice smell but also the molecules of plant chemistry interact uniquely with your brain and your brain chemistry to positively influence your feelings). See end of this article for emotions and essential oils class dates.

Mindfulness and breathing: one of my favourite Apps is Headspace

Gratitude: seriously this is powerful stuff: free and simple to do! It’s impossible to have negative feelings at the same time as grateful ones. If you’re a mobile junky, then download ‘5 minute journal’ app . Another great workbook around gratitude is ‘Practice You’

Podcasts: crowd out your negative feelings with information about positive mindset. There are some great podcasts out there and easy to listen to when you’re stuck in the car in traffic, cooking or out walking/running. Some of my faves right now are ‘Rise Together’ with Rachel and Dave Hollis,  ‘The Good Life Project’ and ‘Magic Lessons‘ with Elizabeth Gilbert…but there are SO many, just look in the health category and try a few out.

I will leave you with this quote from Brene Brown’s new book ‘Dare to Lead’:

“Don’t grab hurtful comments and pull them close to you by rereading them and ruminating on them. Don’t play with them by rehearsing your badass comeback. And whatever you do, don’t pull hatefulness close to your heart. Let what’s unproductive and hurtful drop at the feet of your unarmoured self. And no matter how much your self-doubt wants to scoop up the criticism and snuggle with the negativity so it can confirm its worst fears, or how eager the shame gremlins are to use the hurt to fortify your armour, take a deep breath and find the strength to leave what’s mean-spirited on the ground. You don’t even need to stomp it or kick it away. Cruelty is cheap, easy and chickenshit. It doesn’t deserve your energy or engagement. Just step over the comments and keep daring, always remembering that armour is too heavy a price to pay to engage with the cheap-seat feedback”


Want to learn more about how to integrate doTERRA essential oils into your daily life to support incredible physical and emotional health? Contact me at gus@bemarvellous.co.uk

I’ll be running Introductory classes on 13 and 15 November in Gharghur for newbies to doTERRA (classes listed here:https://www.facebook.com/pg/bemarvellous/events/?ref=page_internal) and a special Essential Oils for Emotions class: Wednesday 14 November 7-9pm Gharghur, get tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emotional-support-and-mood-management-with-doterra-essential-oils-tickets-51883636353

If you can’t make the live class I’ll also be running an online emotions and essential oils class 21 November 1pm-2.30pm (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emotional-support-and-mood-management-with-doterra-essential-oils-tickets-51956698885)

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