A few days ago, I was having lunch with someone who I have known for quite some time now. We talked about my work, writing, and my recent exploration of entrepreneurship.
We were just about to wrap up our already prolonged conversation, when he said: “you have a lot going on in your life, how do you manage to stay so calm and not get stressed?” He was right. Lately, I don’t get stressed very easily.
At that moment I did not really have an answer. I think I just mumbled something general and we both went our ways. But his question kept swirling around in my head. So I did what I always do when things occupy my mind. I went exploring, I opened up my laptop and looked up the definition of “stress," and this is what I found:
“a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.”
Which to my understanding means when your brain and body move out of balance.
Let me explain
When we see a lion, we turn on a primitive nervous system in our brain which is called the “Fight or Flight” nervous system. The moment this “fight or flight” gets activated, we are mobilizing a tremendous amount of energy to prepare ourselves for some threat in our external environment. In the case we really are being chased by a lion, we better have the energy.
When this happens we are moved out of balance, our pupils dilate, our breathing gets heavier, our heart rate changes and blood is sent to our limbs, and we are either going to run, fight or hide.
Ok, But what if it’s not a lion? What if it’s your Ex-boyfriend or a stressful situation at work?
The remarkable thing is our brain and body have the same stress response as seeing a lion, when coming across certain people, or by watching stressful news or having a stressful day at work. As we get stressed and angry, we turn on the exact system as if we are being chased by a predator. And we are moving our brain and body out of balance.
But like all other living organisms, we can tolerate short-term stress.
The zebra gets chased by the lion, the zebra sees the lion, the zebra mobilizes all of its energy and escapes the lion. 15 minutes later when the event is over it turns back to grazing, and the body turns back to "calm."
For human beings, this is different. We can turn on the stress response just by thought alone. Bills adding up, problems at work, Problems in our relationships. As we think about these problems we turn on the stress response just by our thoughts. However, most of the time when we turn on this stress response we can’t turn it off.
Which means we are headed for disaster. Because no natural living organism can be in “emergency mode” for an extended period of time and expect to function healthily.
The sad thing is, according to fact, 70% of the time people are living in stress.
And when we live in stress, we can’t create…when we live in stress, we cannot go within or learn. When we live in stress, all of our attention is on the outer world and not in the inner world, because there is “danger” out there.
And this is why a lot of people are not “Creating” and therefore not “Creative.” The divine aspects of ourselves we experience when we switch back from "survival mode". That’s when the body is calm, and we feel elevated emotions of joy, love, gratitude. We create, we expand we feel energized, open and connected.
When we are stressed, we focus on our environment, our body and Time. When we’re being chased by a lion we are putting our attention on our body, we’re becoming aware of where we need to run and how much time we have. Fear, anger, hostility, anxiety, insecurity, guilt, shame, sadness, unworthiness, depression. These are all created from the hormones of stress when we are in survival state.
People tend to get selfish because they need to take care of themselves to “survive.”
When we are in a creative state, we open our heart, we are not defined by our environment, by our body nor time.
Lately while writing or working, I sometimes forget that I even have a body, I can work or write for hours straight and forget about all the things and people in my life, I even forget about time.
I forget about myself, and I go from selfish to "selfless"…
I am learning to make the switch from "Surviving" to "Creating"
Guess that's my Super Power
Author: Roshni Jagroep
References from "Becoming Supernatural" by Joe Dispenza