Recognizing when to have a break and getting the most from this recuperation time can have huge implications on our quality of life and mental well-being.
In order to even begin contemplating a soothing activity we need to feel safe.
The stress that we experience is often linked to feeling angry, tense or anxious. These are emotional reactions to our environment that trigger our internal threat system.
Our bodies then respond accordingly; our heart rate increases, our breaths become more shallow yet quicker, our hearing becomes more hypersensitive to certain high pitch and low pitch tones, stress hormones are released and our digestive juices behave differently. The system responsible for all of this is the Sympathetic Nervous System.
For most people, after a time, the Parasympathetic Nervous System kicks in and calms everything down when it realises that its perceived detection of life threatening danger is not the case. For those that are running on high alert a lot of the time (e.g. high stress jobs) or whom have experienced situations in their life whereby they have been living in this threat zone on a regular basis (e.g. survivors of domestic abuse); returning to a state of calm can feel more difficult to achieve.
So if you regularly find yourself overwhelmed or loosing track of the time, dwelling on thoughts from the past or worrying about the 'what ifs' that haven't happened yet, set aside a little you time to try some of the techniques below. Just 5 minutes a day can make all the difference, which when you consider how long it takes to send a text or boil a kettle, or how much time we're loosing to our intrusive thoughts, claim it back, value your wellbeing and don't feel guilty for doing so.