Dealing with stress is important. It may not be fun, but if we try to hide from it, we’ll only inflict further harm on our minds and bodies. Numbing is not dealing with stress.
One of the mistakes in judgment we make regarding stress is that we think it is a mental exercise. We think that if we see things differently in life, that it magically gets better. In many ways, it is an elementary view of how we see it, not an expanded deepened view.
Stress is the silent numbing mechanism. It holds us back. It helps keep our eyes focused on the shiny flashy sayings of the day, rather than the substance. Because of this, we fail to feel its full impact on the body, as well as the mind.
Unfortunately, we as a human population tend to think that stress is some big event or trauma or never-ending scenario of life’s struggles. It can be much more simple than that and often is. The daily build-up of stress can be just as damaging on the mind and the body as if we experienced a traumatic event. Yet, we don’t often see it this way.
Another observation I have made is that people think if you are stressed, that somehow you are weak. They view stressed out people as if they just cannot handle life. It is one of the hurdles we face in this world to confront stressful moments head-on and be proactive about them. It is not helpful to view others as weak because we all endure major stress each day.
When we are faced with stress, the body goes into survival mode. Yes, these days that term is thrown around as if everyone truly understands it. While we may understand survival mode from an intellectual viewpoint, we fail to see how it impacts the body. Whether we want to acknowledge or believe its impact, there is evidence that proves how much it alters our everyday existence.
Survival mode increases our breathing rate, our heart rate, and shuts down digestion. It slows down how we sense things that make us joyful because those senses are rerouted into helping keep us alive. In fact, survival mode is doing everything it can with our physical body and mind to help us survive the attack. In this case, stress has become the attacker.
When we’re in survival mode, we’re not interested in the joys of life or love. We don’t care how flowers smell. We’re not looking at how beautiful the sunset is or thinking about the long-term goals of in life. Everything that happens in our body biologically, emotionally, and mentally is all focused on helping us survive. Everything is rerouted and refocused to that end.
While we like to think that we can come out of stressful events easily, depending on the skills you have been taught and learned in life, that may not be true. It is very likely from observing our modern human civilization that we know very little about dealing with stress.
Numbing it is not dealing with it. Most of the time, we numb what is going on, rather than truly dealing with it. We stuff it down. We avoid it and act as if we’ve moved beyond it. While we may fool others around us, the internal self knows the truth. Our inner awareness sees what we share with the world.