How To Conquer The Stress Epidemic

Maria HillCulture And Sensitive People, Emotional And Mental Health, Stress2 Comments

    Do you ever feel like stress is conquering you? Do you ever feel hounded by one stressful situation after another? Does stress take over your life and make you feel out of control? Unfortunately, this is the situation for most of us most of the time. We can conquer this problem but we have to understand the conditions that create it. What Are The Causes Of Stress? There are several causes of stress: the environment we live in.  This type of stress includes weather, daily life challenges and relationships. the cultural conditions we live in and the expectations we are expected to meet, realistic or not. our own minds and how we process our environmental issues and cultural challenges. how we feel about ourselves by how well we are able to handle and cope with the above. So basically when we want to find the source of stress, it can be in our physical environment, our cultural environment and our position within it and a combination of all of them. What Causes The Causes Of Stress? This is the million dollar question: there is the metaphysical answer, that our sense of ourselves as separate creates a lot of our pain and it is true. however, no matter how aware you are of the metaphysical truth, you still need to deal with the realities of daily life. there is the evolutional answer. We evolved from an animal past where survival was fragile and uncertain and so we learned to see the world and others as a threat, which in many ways was true. Our brain and memories bear the marks of our past. there is the cultural answer. As we evolved the prefrontal cortex of our brains developed and with it more complex reasoning and social structures.  Unfortunately those … Read More

Stress, Addiction And Weight

Maria HillDiseases, Stress0 Comments

Scientists have been researching the link between stress, cortisol and weight. Because addiction and stress are related, scientists have been wondering if a similar relationship exists between stress and food. The research is showing that people use drugs and food to self-medicate when they are living in situations which pose an extreme threat to the self. The 2007 paper, Stress, eating and the reward system  by Tanja C. Adam, Elissa S. Epel of the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry found that not all stressful situations create the conditions that induce an individual to eat or take drugs. Chronic anxiety of the kind that is perceived as a direct threat to the self including situations of embarrassment and social rejection have the greatest potential to result in addiction or stress disorders. Because we all have limits to the amount of pain we can handle and because we cannot be in severe pain and still function, any individual in a situation of chronic extreme stress will seek a way to survive and function. If a change of scenery is not possible, that individual will look for alternatives. If there is so way to change the situation, the individual suffering from severe anxiety will often turn to a substance to handle their pain. In effect they are medicating their distress. Once the individual successfully medicates the anxiety of a negative situation, a feedback loop is activated that reinforces the activity, paving the way to a food or substance addiction. Essentially a reward system has been activated; it effectively anesthetizes the suffering individual and reinforces a negative habit to relieve a negative situation. Highly sensitive people are particularly susceptible to addiction and eating disorders because they are so sensitive to pain both in themselves and others. Their natural empathy makes it more difficult for … Read More

HSPs And Developing Self-Compassion

Ritu KaushalEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development17 Comments

If you are someone like me, you know that are you are sensitive, and yet, you often struggle to integrate this knowledge in your life. If you are someone like me, you also have an incessant voice in your head that keeps on discounting the little onward steps that you are taking. It feels really hard to extend yourself the same compassion that you can extend to others. It’s very easy to get impatient with yourself as you try to make changes. It’s only lately that I have started developing more compassion for myself in this process. I have started seeing that my hesitant, baby steps are part of my larger journey. I have started understanding why I have such problems with giving myself what I need. The Challenge Of Self-Compassion So, why is self-compassion such hard work for so many of us? Sonia Connolly discusses this struggle in her lovely book Wellspring of Compassion: “Self-care can sound like an obligation, one more item on a long to-do list. Self-care can sound like abandonment if we were emotionally or physically neglected as children and still long for someone to rescue us. Self-care can sound selfish, self-indulgent, or forbidden when we are accustomed to caring for others first.” Just being aware of these dynamics can help us immensely. We might have unmet needs for love and belonging that are not getting satisfied. We might still be holding on to the hope for some outside redemption. We might be looking at other people and envying them their ability to take care of themselves while forgetting how hard it is to give yourself what you haven’t received. Maybe the first step in developing more self-compassion is suspending judgment about how well we are doing self-care. Maybe it’s about having patience with the parts … Read More