Friday, June 17, 2011

A new response to stress

OK. It’s been one of those weeks where everything seems to be changing fast—and in a good way. And I had an experience today—a transformational shift actually—that I want to share with you. I want to share it with you because now I know that it is possible and I know how to guide others to the opportunity to experience that same shift for themselves.

An old behavior pattern that I learned in childhood was to react to any emergency or anything new that needed to be done quickly with the old fight/flight response. You know that feeling—something happens, you get a call, you need to stop what you are doing and immediately react. When you have the strategy of using fight/flight, which is the ole’ shot of adrenaline that prepares you for reacting, then that’s what happens—adrenaline and cortisol start flowing through your blood stream preparing you to do what needs to be done.

Well that was the way I have always reacted to anything sudden—being an adrenaline junkie. And then my body would contract, I’d feel anxiety in the pit of my stomach and I’d be ready to react. Which also would trigger my desire to overeat as a way of turning off the adrenaline and slowly myself down. I’d fall into having to be up and ready and then use food to reduce the anxiety and come back to neutral. And I did this mostly unconsciously—until today that is.

My 89 year old mother-in-law is in the hospital and we were expecting her to be released today. So I called and found out that not only was she not being released, but no one had been in to see her all day. And off I went into that old adrenaline reaction. Not an angry reaction, but a ‘ready, set, fire’ reaction. As I was driving to the hospital I did a quick inventory of how my body was feeling using those 4 keys to self-healing I talked about on the Wednesday conference call yesterday—Awareness, Forgiveness, Allowing and Receiving.

I felt my muscles tight and contracted and that anxiety in the pit of my stomach just waiting to react to something, and I thought “This isn’t how I want to feel anymore!” So I took a deep breath and felt my entire being shift out of that adrenaline & cortisol fight/flight response and into the excitement & joy of just having an experience. Immediately I felt in my body a shift from adrenaline (fight/flight) driving my behavior and thoughts to neurotransmitters (joy, pleasure, excitement) flooding my body as I actually started looking forward to visiting the hospital and finding out what was happening.

It was a transformational shift from ‘moving away from pain’ to ‘moving towards pleasure’ and THAT is a huge big deal.

And it happened in an instant.

Now that I know what it feels like to approach situations in life from this new perspective—curiosity and adventure—my body can reproduce that response at will now—with just a thought.

It’s a much healthier way of dealing with life and I’m guessing that those last few stubborn pounds around my belly will begin to melt away as my body no longer produces adrenaline as a response to life. And let me tell you—neurotransmitters that flow joy, excitement, curiosity and love—so much better!

I welcome your comments and questions.