Updated: Oct 14, 2019
Imagine yourself standing in a bathtub without the showered turned on. Now, imagine dialing the unmarked knobs to the left. Immediately, you flinch, back up, and find a corner of the shower that receives the least of this unbearably-cold water. You stand there until the water warms up - occasionally reaching around to adjust the temperature of the water. "Which one was hot again? I swear I just adjusted this one. Why is it getting colder? Too hot now."
And just when you're pushed to the boundaries of your anger and emotion, the temperature of the water feels just right.
Does this sound familiar? Most of us have encountered this situation where we're left cold, wet, and uncomfortable. But what if I told you that it wasn't the water's temperature? What if your stress-levels are just underdeveloped? What if I told you that, the shivers that you experienced during the first twenty seconds of the discomfort, is where you belong?
Let me explain:
Our bodies are built for stress-induced adaptation. Frankly, if you're never put in a high-consequence situation, chances are, your stress would be higher [in that situation] than somebody that has been there before. Fitness analogy: those who have swung a kettlebell, with instruction, are better at swinging kettlebells than the ones that haven't.
The reaction to stress is pretty universal:
1) Your heart rate starts ramping up.
2) Your breathing gets out of wack - sometimes even leading to hyperventilation.
3) You start to have destructive thoughts.
4) It consumes you. You probably don't die. But, just sometimes, you want to.
Well, I have the fix for you. It's a two-step process that's going to ask for a long-term commitment and, when practiced, will assist throughout all aspects of stress (physical, emotional, spiritual).
Step one: Intentionally put yourself in stressful situations.
Step two: Breathe. Like, really breathe. With intention and even inhale-exhale ratio (easy as :03 in, :03 out). Five to ten breaths should do the trick.
No secret here...
Stand in the cold water - just a little longer. DW