Who You Gonna Call? ‘Stress busters’

When I think of the movie Ghostbusters (both the classic and the remake) that many of us know and love, I think of getting a team together. A team of talent to work together to eliminate something really powerful that would carry on regardless if it wasn’t stopped.

The words of the theme song are as appropriate to stress as they are to ghosts. Stress is  weird, it don’t look good and there’s no need to be afraid of it…you could change the ‘ghost’ in the lyrics below for your own stress busting mantra. 

Ghostbusters {stress busters}
If there’s something strange in you neighbourhood
Who you gonna call? (ghostbusters) {stress busters}
If there’s something weird
And it don’t look good
Who you gonna call? (ghostbusters) {stress busters}
I ain’t afraid of no ghost {stress}
– Ray Parker Jr.

We all have our own ghosts. Ghosts of the past, present and future, lurking in dark corners of our minds and from time to time even stepping into our light. These ghosts have a name, STRESS.  Or, the ‘S’ word as I like to call it. Shortening it’s letters reduces its hold over me. Try it – it might help you too.

The ‘S’ word’

That expletive of all expletives! The one we all succumb to at some point in our lives. Stress eats away at us whilst we are spending precious time living out future unknowns. Stress, if you hadn’t figured it out already is really, very bad for you. Stress steals away the present and can attack your future.

Stressbusting in a nutshell

For those of you short on time – whose 60 seconds to skim this blog are almost up…

My advice is to stay in the present moment as much as you can, or if you’ve already left the present and gone somewhere else with ‘worry’, try to get yourself back to the here and now as quickly as you can – stop stress in its tracks.

You could push the envelope further, if you’re so inclined, by diving deeper into the feeling, seeking answers why you’re reacting the way you are. The deeper you go into those thoughts and feelings, the less likely you are to react to them because you ‘get’ them or you’re getting to know them at least.

5 Ways stress can manifest

Stress can manifest in our lives in so many ways. If you can associate with any of the below stress busting may help you:

  1. Quickened breathing
  2. Feeling overwhelmed and out of control
  3. Mindlessly watching TV (I’m sure 99% of us are guilty of this)
  4. Not being bothered to exercise (uh huh?)
  5. Staying in bed rather than facing the day

What can stress do to the body and mind?

Sufice to say, it doesn’t do you any good. The evil thing about stress is that sometimes you don’t notice it until it has taken hold of you or made something worse. It’s one of life’s silent, invisible attackers.

Physical manifestations of stress

Stress is responsible for worsening our health. For Crohn’s patients it may exacerbate  inflammation. It can attack healthy bodies too. For bodies that struggle with underlying health conditions, like Crohn’s disease it puts even more stress on them.

Crohns and IBD sufferers react to food in their diet.  These conditions have few outward symptoms, but there can be stress associated with social stigma.

Sue Quinn has written an interesting article where she describes extensive research that is being done on the effects of diet on one’s body. She refers to Dr Miranda Lomer MBE’s research and dietary advice. In addition to diet, Dr Lomer suggests that “we push our bodies too far,” and that “for some people, stress and anxiety are as much of a problem for their gut as their diet.”

Mental manifestations of stress

Again, the list is endless. Some of the obvious ones include:

  • Sweating the small stuff
  • Forgetfulness
  • Shortness with others
  • Agression

The list goes on… The only positive aspect of stress I can think of is adrenaline that kicks in before an important or new event, like an exam or a presentation. As this is often short-lived, it is unlikely to do any long term damage. It’s the daily dose of stress that we indulge in that we really need to focus our stress busting efforts on.

So, what can you do to bust STRESS?

  • Call The Stress busters in. If you need to visualise your own team (a.k.a your own private ghostbusters with outfits and all – then go for it)
  • Know that the only real time is here and now – present moment living

One of the best explanations I heard to help overcome worry of what might happen in the future comes from the late Wayne Dyer, one of my mindfulness gurus. He put it quite simply:

‘whenever you worry that something might happen, it is potentially experiencing the negative experience at least once and at worst twice. If you don’t worry you might never experience it. Worry is in our minds

Here are some simple stress busting tools you can use whenever stress gets out of hand:

  • Slow down your breathing – take a longer out breath than in breath (breathe in for 6 counts, out for 8)
  • Meditate
  • Exercise – any kind of exercise will take you out of a stressful situation / thought – relaxing and calming exercises get the gold star by the Stress busters (like yoga)
  • Self-massage

Make your own ‘Little Black Book’ of STRESS BUSTERS’?

The idea behind this is that you have a help list of practitioners / professionals, whether local to you or online for when you feel ‘stressed’ and need a helping hand – your own personal stress busters.


Meditation

Why not begin a daily practice? 5 minutes of calm in the morning and 5 minutes of relaxation in the evening to wind down before bed.

If you’ve never meditated before there’s no particular skill required to begin – just close your eyes and breathe. If you find your mind wandering just concentrate on your breath.


Yoga

You don’t have to look Instagram perfect, or wear the right gear and practice every day. Go along to a local class or learn by watching a youtube video or, by reading a book.

Everyone starts somewhere. Don’t be put off by those who look super bendy – it’s the intention and marriage of body and mind that counts, not what you look like. Namaste.


Reframe

If you feel stressed by external forces, try to reframe them. What I mean is turn the experience on its head by seeing the silver lining in a difficult situation and focusing on that. You don’t have to buy into someone else’s opinion of you. Turn it around or try to see the good in it. Just because someone else has a thought, it doesn’t mean they are right. Challenge them, or better still, ignore them and walk away. Today’s stresses will be tomorrow’s chip paper. Here today, gone tomorrow, like the breath, it comes and it goes.


Don’t sweat the small stuff

There will be times in your life that are tough. Save your efforts for those occasions and until then just let the smaller things flow off you like water off a duck’s back.


Don’t sweat the season

As we approach the festive season with work deadlines, commitments and the pressure to find the right gifts, as we succumb to consumerism aiming for a perfect holiday season, try to bear the above in mind. And, when you need them, call in your Stress busters to help eliminate the causes  of stress, and at least, bring you back to the present. When people talk about ‘being the moment’ this is exactly what is meant – go ‘STRESS BUST’ to your heart’s content!

And last, but not least, if it helps sing your own theme tune……STRESSBUSTERS!


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