Beat stress and embrace yourself – and life – once again!

Posted: October 21, 2010 in Health
Tags: , , , ,

By Cara-Lee Scheun

At times it seems as if you might have everything and everything just feels good.  You have your own apartment, a good job and great friends. Until one day, when you wake up with a feeling of emptiness, inexplicable and inconvenient. You try to find something to take away this feeling. You feel as if everything is too much trouble to do.  You feel lonely but in reality you are surrounded by thousands of people and no amount of shopping or drinking makes you feel any better. In fact, the only thing you do get is a massive overdraft and an incurable hangover.

According to psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Deborah Serani, “you can be basically on the edge of depression because of stress”, and it could lead to full depression. Dealing with stress is difficult, something that seems to be working very successfully is to go back to your roots and find yourself again. 

Without going into all the sensation-stimulation-of-the-brain details, stress occurs when something upsets you. Hormones of stress are released from your brain, which send a message to your body and your body doesn’t like this and sends a trouble message back. This upsets the brain more, so the brain releases more stress hormones and sends back another message, and so the cycle continues. This has been proven over time by many psychological studies, showing how your mind and body are strongly linked to one another, because as your physical health starts to go down, your mental health also declines and vice versa. After a while of a mental and physical decline in your health, it could be hard to break the cycle of stress and both could become much more serious, until depression kicks in.

Going back home means to go back to a place where you once had no worries and lived a relatively careless life, without feeling mentally down all the time. Wherever home might be, it will be the place where you find yourself being relaxed, warm, stable and perhaps find an appreciation for life again. A few things to do when you go back and why you should do them include the following:

«  Familiar and Fun things

First, go back and do all those things you used to do – anything you remember to be fun and with whom you had a great time. Eat at your favourite place or the place that makes the trademark burgers in town and listen to all your old memorable songs. Visit the high school you used to go to, where you had your first dance, matric farewell and the place where you had your first kiss. Go to the park, the best lookout point or catch a wave if there is an ocean. All of this will bring back memories about fun times you had there, the times where problems used to look so big. You will soon realise how small and insignificant those problems are now.  

«  Friends and Family

Visit your good school friends – friends you have been out of touch with and those you didn’t think you would ever see again. Find out what they have been doing for the past few years and how life has been treating them. The same goes for your family; even though you may have left the previous time with a bad vibe, there won’t be one now. Time heals so many wounds, and when you meet again it will all be forgotten. Seek new friends and conversations, look for the most diverse range of people you can connect to and so many new lifestyles will be opened to you. Family is just as important as non-family, both of them help to make you who you are today, and seeing them again will renew your values and attitude towards life.

«  See what’s New and Unchanged

With the pace at which construction is today, an entire city can change in only a few short years, and things that used to be familiar might have got a new look or have totally vanished. Though it’s sad to see how something you used to enjoy so much is now gone and something new has replaced it, it at least shows that your town has made some progress. Rather accept the change than trying to resist it, and explore the new ‘world’ and look for the good within it. If you are able to go back home, it will be much easier to apply this principle when you return to your normal life.

«  Do New Things

Do all of those things you used to say that “One day when I am all grown up, I am going to do…” – now is the time! Don’t delay anymore – do things outside your normal daily life. Some old man once told me that when you are grey and old, the things you regret most are not what you did, but what you didn’t do. Let go of your fears, your past and unnecessary worries, and start to look for new directions in life. Read that book you have wanted to read for so long, take on hiking trails and experience nature like you have never before. Just turn off your cell phone and back away from technology and time will take on an unknown slowness.

«  Letting Go of the Past

Some might find going back home is not even an option because of bad memories, wrong choices, bad relationships with friends or family and sometimes just the surroundings or setting of their home is enough to say no. But maybe one of your reasons not to go back is exactly the reason why you should go. Perhaps after letting go of some issues, you might feel as if you can breathe again without feeling guilty, and be able to live your own life again. As Dr. Serani  said, “People might not realise it, but suppressed memories and guilt work in the same way”. They will keep on bothering you until you actually attend to them, before you can feel at ease. First you have to accept that you can’t change the past. Accept some responsibilities, go back and talk about your feelings and listen to their feelings. Let your emotions and feelings free, speak to a friend, a family member or even write it all down on paper, but don’t keep your feelings to yourself. As soon as you share them, it will be as if you can move forward again.

To go back to your roots doesn’t necessarily mean to go back to your hometown. It simply means to go back to where you came from, the place that made you who you are, where you made your best memories whilst growing up. It is the place where the people who know you best are, and where you can feel renewed once again. This is the place where you will find happiness and strength for the health of your mind. Once you return, be sure to keep the positive energy going, and to create a ‘safe, stress-free’ environment in your home. A place which will remind you of who you are, filled with things that make you feel relaxed and good about yourself.

Embrace Life

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