2012 has been an incredibly hectic year for me so far! During January I had many projects on the go, such as moving How to Heal to its new home in Clapham, renovating another property, completing the new How to Heal website and also making sure my Clients were continuing to make good progress. Add in the boiler breaking and a family drama and it was fair to say that come end of January I was stressed. Very stressed.
Luckily I have learnt over the last eight years a great awareness for stress and how it can negatively impact your psychological and physical wellbeing. I suffered from ME / CFS for five years and it took me a long while to realise that when stress goes on in your environment for too long it starts to affect your thought patterns and your moods. The negative thoughts and feelings bring about biological changes in your body as stress hormones are generated – all which leads to a Vicious Circle of stress forming in your body – your body fuelling your negative thoughts and your negative thoughts fuelling more stress hormones to be generated..
I have been fully well for four years, but I also know that my body remembers the illness and it used to be my Achilles Heel – too much stress has the potential to set me back. Luckily as a NLP Practitioner I have the tools to de-stress myself which is great but another important factor in removing stress is the environment. It is important in healing that we create an environment that gives us a chance to heal. Practising the tools to de-stress and get into good states is important, but if you have stress triggers come at you 10 times and hour it is going to weaken your chances of recovery because we will always be focused on your reaction to stressful events.
Personally, I decided to have a weekend in a lovely country hotel with a spa to unwind. Whilst sitting in the spa pool on day one I was so aware that my thoughts were very negative – a sign that my sympathetic nervous system was still activated (the stress response fight or flight system) but as I relaxed the parasympathetic system (rest and digest system) took hold and my thoughts and mood become much more positive.
It is great to be back in the How to Heal Centre today and I am relaxed, safe in the knowledge that I won’t return to the previous state as the craziness of January is over. However, if I had been coming back to continuous stress, I may have to look at my environment and make more changes – or perhaps look at myself and notice if there was something about my reaction that could change? Of course, when we are stressed or healing from illness we do not always have the choice to take ourselves off somewhere, so the environment needs to be as stress free as possible. But we do have choice over our reactions, we can change our reactions to something that is not stressful – choice is key in healing. We must choose to heal, leave stress behind and put our health as our number one priority.
So how important is the environment when we are healing? It is very important to make the job of healing easier for ourselves, however, as we still have choice over ourselves and our reactions it means it is not impossible to heal when there is stress in our environment, but it is harder work as we have more triggers to overcome. But to have your health….it is so worth the overcoming.