It’s Only Stress….
is possibly the worst thing anyone can say to you when you are feeling lousy. But how many of us realise exactly what Stress really is and how it affects our body?
I was lucky enough to attend a talk by well known Nutritional Therapist and Yoga Teacher Charlotte Watts at The Isbourne Centre in Cheltenham last night. As a volunteer I get to sit on some incredible talks and workshops and believe me it is well worth lugging a few chairs and tables around if I get to see such fabulous speakers.
Charlotte was warm, open and madly passionate about her subject, in fact in our little chat afterwards I commented on her ability to prevent herself going off on a tangent several times during the talk, as it would have been so easy for her to follow her enthusiasm down so many tributaries of information that run through her incredible mind.
During the talk – where I was so absorbed that I took no notes – we looked at the chemical components of Stress, and the ways in which every one of us experienced the struggle. I myself was stunned when she said it takes about seven minutes to fall asleep (Not an hour and half? Really?), and that no, it’s not normal to clench your jaw in your sleep. (I suddenly understood why I wake up with headaches every morning)
She discussed the ‘Cut Off’ between The Head (mind) and the Body. How the body uses 75% of it’s energy powering the brain, creating a sense of exhaustion when we are simply sitting (badly) over-thinking, worrying or allowing our ‘monkey mind’ to run the show.
She illustrated why Meditation/ Yoga/ Daydreaming/ Walking in Nature/ Resting is absolutely vital for healthy body and mind.
Charlotte shared that our brain does not only follow circadian rhythms during sleep but all through the day, and we need periods of Off in order to Heal, Digest and recover before ploughing forward, yet in todays world with the expectations permanently switched to Max we rarely allow ourselves what our body really needs.
Everything Charlotte shared reminded me of my innate belief of a more feminine life style and work ethic. One which honours the body and mind; which embraces optimal health and allows for the natural ebb and flow of humanity, rather than the Fast and Hard approach so beloved of Capitalists, who , ironically get all the rest and recuperation they need, as they delegate the actual work to those further down the food chain.
I mean, no matter how busy you are as an executive, I’m pretty sure you manage to replenish yourself with excellent health care and more than a few luxurious holidays a year. The work force, on the other hand, who are massively controlled and constantly threatened with being replaced if they fail to come up with the goods, will suffer extreme stress, becoming depleted and exhausted, often with quite serious health problems as a result.
It really is time to take a stand and demand something different and this begins with how we raise our children. If we constantly expect more of them, push them to achieve more and more, schedule activities to give them the edge, employ personal tutors and consider playing outside with friends as a waste of time then we are simply breeding a generation of stressed out, sick and miserable humans.
And I don’t think any of us actually want that, do we?