Series 1 Episode 3 - Lockdown and Anxiety - 27/09/2021 Launch
In this podcast the Wellbeing Wizards explore the impact stress and anxiety have had on wellbeing throughout lockdown and beyond, and provide insights that have been effective at helping people to reset their mind-body equilibrium in their coaching practice.
· Predictable signs and symptoms of stress & anxiety physiology
· Fight Flight Freeze ( and the fourth F)
· How shock (stress) displaces the pattern of breath
· Importance of the gut brain axis
· How to recalibrate or reset stress physiology
· The importance of stimulating the vagus nerve
· Introducing DOT to reframe perspective
· Breath awareness – seat of power and master your mind through the breath
Over 60% of clients referred for holistic coaching showed symptoms of stress, low mood and anxiety as assessed by GAD-7 and PHQ-9 scale, , often with other co-morbidities such as high cholesterol, hypertension.
Many have felt relief when they discover the symptoms are predictable patterns of stress physiology impacting digestion, mood, reproduction, energy levels, and that they are not alone - there are many others feeling similar impressions upon their mental & physical wellbeing.
The great thing about the stress response is its predictability – because of this we can do something about it and navigate or change the narrative of the outcome.
Most people are familiar with the fight, fight and freeze response. The body shuts down the least important functions such as digestion and reproduction, and redirects its resources to survival. Energy reserves are cascaded to muscles, heart, brain for speed, agility and for action.
This is why long term effects of stress lead to an inflammatory response such as allergies, digestive and fertility issues. Other common symptoms may include anxiety, palpitations, shallow breathing, inability to ‘switch off’ or sleep, or a feeling that something is not right, as well as low mood and energy, tearful or emotional without cause are all common ‘side effects’ of long term stress.
At the initial stage, alarm phase, these symptoms are considered ‘psychosomatic’ responses as blood tests often do not show any signs of imbalances, and health care professionals are not equipped or trained to deal with prevention.
Short term stress is necessary and healthy for the body-mind for growth. However, long term stress and the inability to cope with too many demands / pressure is detrimental to wellbeing – this may contribute to (and be the underlying issue of) many chronic long term conditions such as heart disease and mental health.
Unfortunately, many of us have found ourselves in alien territory during lockdown, being isolated from people and activities that managed our mental and physical wellbeing, or forced into uncommon or unhealthy situations that has compounded our ability to cope.
Health coaches with life experience in stress management are suitably placed to offer advice and facilitate wellbeing for those seeking help to reset the stress response.
Stress physiology is really simple to deactivate when you know how. All it requires is discipline to integrate techniques, which empower the body recalibrate.
Meet DOT. Imagine a DOT on a piece of paper.
DOT relates to your worries, anxiety, pain, stress everything that keeps you In a cycle of fight flight freeze, and eventually leads to the fourth F. The more you focus on DOT, the bigger it gets.
However, DOT does not define YOU.
Instead, look around at the empty space around DOT. Notice the things that serve your wellbeing, that put you in a positive frame of mind. Remove yourself from DOT. Pause.
The space around DOT is what you need to step into and stay.
Think beyond the cloudy sky to the blue sky beyond.
A powerful way of recalibrating stress response is practicing deep breathing techniques. Do these regularly to prevent anxiety creeping in.
Link to content mentioned in the episode
1. Master Your mind through the breath
2. Seat of Power - Grounding exercise
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Title Card Photo Credit: Ben Wulf - https://benwulfphotography.co.uk/