Stress influences our lives. It follows us like a shadow when we have to get up, but we don’t want to. It’s right behind us when we go to work, get in line in the supermarket, look for the last parking spot, get the bill for the last car service or find out that we’re running out of money that month. It’s next to us when we have an argument with our partner, complain about the neighbors’ nuisance or have discussions with work colleagues.
This article leads you through the first step of the REWARD-Method to reduce daily stress: Relaxation. People using this word often think or speak about commercial or public wellness, visiting a spa or taking a holiday.
Relaxation in this context usually means having to go somewhere, to spend money and maybe even being in need of other people (e.g. a therapist) to get one in relaxing mode.
Did you know that in our intestines more than 70% of the whole body’s immune system is located? Over 100 trillions of microorganisms are working there day and night together with immune cells to provide our body with a strong defense system. The bowel is not only there to digest what we eat and drink, to absorb minerals and vitamins; it does also an important job at eliminating pathogenic bacteria.
How does our brain influence our experience of stress, and how are we able to influence our brain in its way to deal with stress?
Our brain is like a super computer – there are around 100 trillion neurons (nerve pathways) working together, and though its weight is just about 3% of our body weight, it requires around 15% of our entire energy each day. On top of this, several thousands of new neurons are produced each day – as long as it is stimulated by different activities and challenged by learning new things.
What comes to your mind when using the word ‘awareness’? Maybe you think about concentration, about a heightened attention – and yes, this is all a big part of it.
But awareness is actually something quite simple. Awareness is what we need and use if we want to do something in an especially attentive or careful way. It also means doing just one thing at a time – it means being focused. Perhaps you already feel reminded of the Zen Buddhism, and that’s right where the practice of awareness has been established and perfected over hundreds of years.
“Honey, you know we’ve got an invitation from my parents this weekend for dinner. My brother’s also coming.” – “Oh no, does he have to? I can’t stand him, he’s so dominant, he always scolds me, you know that.” – “Please, not this again… I can’t hear it anymore.”…
Today, one of my patients told me that a few weeks ago she was so disappointed in herself and feeling completely down. The reason for it was that she had two weeks off, alone without her daughter, and she was actually looking forward to it! Not having to follow the usual schedule each day, not having to rush, enjoying lots of time for herself.