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Let's all acknowledge that stress is hard to let go of

A beautiful Icelandic phrase I am now adopting into my daily mantra is - Þetta reddast - Loosely translated to 'it's all going to work out in the end' - Listen Im pretty easy going but anxiety chose a front seat with me as I have been surfing this life wave. But it is true , I work towards what I need to, and it will always work out in the end - I may not love the outcome, but what is for me will be.

Stress has become an all-too-familiar companion in our modern lives. It creeps into our thoughts, tightens its grip on our emotions, and weighs us down physically. We've all experienced moments when we desperately wish we could let go of stress, but it clings to us tenaciously, refusing to release its hold. Why is stress so difficult to shake off? Let's delve into some reasons behind this persistent struggle.

1️⃣ Biological Responses: Stress triggers a complex cascade of physiological responses in our bodies. When we perceive a threat or experience a stressful situation, our sympathetic nervous system goes into high gear, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare us for fight or flight, heightening our alertness and readiness to respond. While this response can be beneficial in the short term, chronic stress keeps our bodies in a state of constant activation, making it challenging to relax and let go.

2️⃣ Mental Ruts: Prolonged exposure to stress can lead to negative thinking patterns and cognitive biases. When stress takes hold, our minds often become fixated on the source of stress, ruminating over the problem, and amplifying its significance. This rumination keeps stress at the forefront of our thoughts, making it difficult to shift our attention away from it. Breaking free from these mental ruts requires conscious effort and the cultivation of positive and adaptive thinking habits.

3️⃣ Habitual Responses: Stress can become a habitual way of responding to the world around us. Over time, our brains form neural pathways associated with stress, reinforcing the stress response as our default mode of operation. These well-worn pathways make it challenging to let go of stress because our brains have become wired to automatically respond with stress in certain situations. Breaking these habits involves consciously rewiring our brains through relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and stress management strategies.

4️⃣ Lifestyle Factors: Our modern lifestyles often contribute to the difficulty of letting go of stress. We live in a fast-paced world filled with constant stimuli, pressures, and responsibilities. The demands of work, family, and personal life can create a never-ending cycle of stressors. Moreover, technology and social media keep us plugged in and connected 24/7, blurring the boundaries between work and leisure time. These factors make it challenging to find the space and time necessary for relaxation and stress relief, perpetuating the cycle of stress.

5️⃣ Emotional Attachment: Paradoxically, stress can become an emotional crutch that we hold onto, even when it's detrimental to our well-being. We might develop an emotional attachment to stress because it offers a sense of familiarity, or we believe that it drives us to perform better. In some cases, stress can even serve as a form of validation or identity. Letting go of stress requires recognizing and challenging these emotional attachments, reevaluating our priorities, and embracing healthier ways of defining ourselves and finding fulfillment.

While stress may be hard to let go of, it's crucial to prioritize our well-being and develop effective strategies for managing and reducing it. Engaging in regular exercise, learning relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing, unclenching the jaw, massage therapy, infrared sauna, yoga postures...), seeking social support(distill what information works for you and find support that lifts you up, calls you out in LOVE), setting boundaries or opening them depending on why they are in place , and adopting a healthy lifestyle(MIND~BODY SPIRIT) are all powerful tools in our battle against stress. Remember, letting go of stress is a gradual process that requires patience, self-compassion, and a commitment to self-care. You deserve a life that is not dictated by stress, so take the first steps towards liberation. 🌟

SO Þetta reddast - Remember, stress doesn't have to define us; it's simply an indication that we're living, learning, and evolving. It's during these moments that we discover our strengths, resilience, and ability to overcome obstacles. 🌈🔥

Sometimes, stress can even be a catalyst for positive change. It drives us to adapt, innovate, and discover new solutions. So, let's shift our perspective and view stress as a valuable teacher, guiding us towards personal growth and transformation. 🌱📚 Find your true north , recognize that stress sucks but you can help rewire your brain to work for you instead of against you !

**citations:McEwen, B. S. (2007). Physiology and neurobiology of stress and adaptation: Central role of the brain. Physiological reviews, 87(3), 873-904.,Becker, E. S., Rinck, M., & Margraf, J. (1994). The role of mood and personality in trait anxiety. Personality and individual differences, 17(5), 683-686., Neuroscience of Pain, Stress, and Emotion: Psychological and Clinical Implications -Magne Arve Flaten



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