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Calm in the Storm: Unlocking Your Inner Strength to Defuse Stressors

The human stress response is an evolutionary adaptation that has helped humans cope with crises. It occurs in response to danger in any form—

In the face of a perceived threat, the sympathetic nervous system floods the body with stress hormones, primarily cortisol, and adrenaline, and initiates a complex “fight-or-flight response.”

These Fight or flight changes are meant to support us in navigating and surviving the crisis.

Truth be told, the system serves us beautifully, when followed by a period of rest, recovery, and recuperation,


Excess stress can also impact our mental and emotional states. Because our physical body affects our emotions, and our emotions affect our physical body.

Stress tends to wear us down on a systemic level.

The bottom line is this, if you know that you’re stressed (even occasionally), there is a good chance that making some supportive adjustments could benefit you immensely.

Learning to manage your stress response takes practice.

Over the next 12 installments, I will talk about some tools and techniques to help get you started.

#1 -The first tool we are going to discuss is awareness.

What are Some physical Responses You Notice When You Experience Stress?

One of the greatest gifts of yoga is body awareness. I am not talking about the (oftentimes negative) body awareness we get from reading fashion magazines and watching TV and movies. I am talking about the awareness of how we hold our bodies in space.

Thinking about your physical body, what are some of your outwardly physical stress responses? Do you:

Clench your jaw

Make fists

Bring your shoulders up closer to your ears

Pop your knees back

Jutt your head forward

If you find that you clench your jaw, unclench it. Shoulders go up, relax them down.

Becoming aware of how your body responds to triggers on a physical level can help you to begin the process of undoing your sympathetic nervous system's reaction simply, by undoing those responses.

Next, we will talk about the importance of routines in managing stressors.

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