Bee-eep. Bee-eep. Bee-eep. Ugh. My mind, in a fog of sleepiness, slowly registers the jarring sound. My morning alarm.
It’s Monday. The infinitely long to-do list commences its familiar swirling through my slowly-waking brain. Time to bound out of bed and head straight into a full day of busyness. Like it or not, here we go….
Did your chest tighten in recognition while reading that? If so, you’re not alone. For many of us, much of our lives is spent sprinting on a self-created, stress-inducing hamster wheel. After a while, that stress can become a chronic state where we slip into persistent fight-or-flight mode, the body’s heightened response to perceived danger.
For many of us, much of our lives is spent sprinting on a self-created, stress-inducing hamster wheel.
But I’m not stressed! you might be thinking. The thing is, whether faced with a true threat (an armed intruder) or merely the constant thrum of self-criticism (or work pressures, deadlines, micromanaging superiors), the body and mind respond in much the same way: shallow breath, racing heart, and tense muscles, preparing to take action to keep us safe. We may feel our shoulders lifting toward our ears, or pressure in…