Inner strength of lioness

Inner Strength

When we are faced with external stress, pressure and demands this is the time when we need to tap into our inner strength.

Generally what we currently have to deal with, we have faced before, but maybe in a different guise.  The issue may be different but the emotions and feelings are what we are familiar with.

We have so much inner strength and resources but we can often forget or ignore them.  We can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by emotions which can lead into a panic cycle and not know how to respond.

Over the years, however, we have experienced, and gathered, inner strengths such as reflection, determination, calmness, trust in self, belief and motivation.  We have accrued skills such as problem solving, listening, delegating, sharing (with the right people) and the ability to ask for help or to recognise when to let go and accept.

If we can bring our strengths and resources to the fore than our ability to cope, to bring down stress levels and to gain confidence will expand and grow.

To do this we need to be in a place of calm. The brain, as we know, registers uncomfortable/distressing situations as a danger and triggers off the fight/flight/freeze response.  When we are in this state our ability to think logically and rationally is impaired.  The body is focused on survival rather than cognitive problem solving.

The most important thing you can do is to get to a state of calm.  You can do this through relaxation, Reiki, meditation, walking – whatever helps to switch off that alarm system.  Once in this preferred state think back to another time when you had a similar emotional reaction or problem.  How did you react? What was most helpful at that time? What did you learn from that experience?  From this reflection pick out the most helpful action, strengths, skills and consider how you could apply them to your current situation.

Take control of the situation which may mean in essence choosing how you wish to respond.  What is best for you? Trust yourself to make the right decision at that time.  We can do no more than our best.  Use all your past experiences to tap into what is already there – your inner strength.  Move from an external need for support, approval and assurance to an inner belief of trust and strength.

If you struggle with this concept or have difficulty getting in touch with your inner strengths and abilities then you may wish to consider an EFT (Tapping ) session as  a gentle way to bring down intensity of emotion and reframe and strengthen your inner resources.

“Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.” ―Katherine Dunham

Stress

Stress Awareness

Stress affects everyone and April is Stress Awareness month.  At times stress can be energising, positive and motivating but when demands upon ourselves exceed our perceived ability to cope then stress can become a problem.  The effects of stress are different for each person, for example it may affect our sleep, eating habits, relationships or concentration to do our job.

It is is rarely contributed to just one thing but to many factors over a period of time.

When stress becomes prolonged or excessive and we perceive that we cannot cope with demands then the impact upon our lives can be detrimental.

At times it is others that first recognise that we are stressed rather than ourselves.  It can be easy to keep our head down, keep going and ignore warning signs.  Sometimes we only recognise how stressed we are after the situation has gone!

The starting point is to increase our awareness of how we are feeling, what our body is telling us, notice changes in our behaviour and hear what others are saying. Only when we are aware can we do anything to help ourselves.

What are those warning signs?  This will obviously differ for each person but here are a few that may be familiar to you:

Physical – increased muscular tension, headaches, feeling nauseous, sweating

Emotional – feeling anxious, increased irritation, frustration

Behaviour – decreased or increased sleeping, lack or increase in appetite, withdrawing, increased alcohol/coffee/smoking, lack of tolerance

Cognitions (thoughts) – blaming others, everything appears negative, increased worry about everything, not being able to switch off thoughts

So what can we do?

Identify what is causing the stress and determine whether:-

a) it is under your control and you are able to do something to change it

b) it is something that you cannot change and therefore find a way to accept the situation

c) you can just let it go, as in the long run or in a few weeks time, it really won’t matter or it isn’t that important

Share your concerns and seek out the right people that will be able to support you or be able to make changes with you.

Look after yourself physically by having a healthy diet, get enough sleep, take exercise, engage socially with others and actively do relaxation eg have a bath, listen to a mediation tape, have ring-fenced quiet time.

Talk to yourself as if you are your best friend; be kind, compassionate and caring to yourself.  Praise and compliment yourself on how you are doing and how you are coping.

End the day by giving gratitude for what you have in your life – family, friends, home, health, faith, work etc.

Keep in mind that the stress will pass and spend each day focusing in the here and now.  Turn worries into problems and look at how to solve them.

So how can I help?

Book yourself a Reiki session which promotes relaxation, re-balancing and restoring of energy levels.

Book an appointment to learn Emotional Freedom Technique (or Tapping) as a self-help tool that decreases intensity of emotions and promotes a different way of looking at situations.

Book a day on a retreat especially designed for healthcare workers – 11 May 2019.

There is nothing to be ashamed of feeling stressed and the more we understand our early warning signs and do something to help ourselves the more in control we feel thus decreasing our levels of stress.