Your Inner Strength Game

Mastering The Inner Strength Game

How do you feel and act in times of acute stress and trauma?

We all have various crisis to deal with, traumas from our past that we have locked away to forget, illnesses, accidents, relationship breakdowns, bereavements or redundancy.

All of these can have such a knock on effect to our emotional well being and then our physical health- especially when coupled with the increasing amount of stress that we face as 'normality' in our everyday lives.

But how do you cope with the overwhelm, panic and sometimes shock that happens automatically in these situations? and what about the ever increasing stress from everyday situations- being late for work or a meeting, a poorly child or just general stress of rushing around?

stressed lady

There are many things that you can do to help you overcome this stress. Each and everyone of us have different coping levels, and that depends on how full your 'emotional box' is (this is a metaphor for piling down the emotions into our body- this 'box' becomes full and then leads to problems like anxiety, sleep issues etc).

​But, the fact is we are very amazing resilient people, and quite often its only after we have come through a crisis or a trauma that we realise that we have actually been stronger and much more agile in our way of coping. Often when we think that we are unable to cope, we have in fact come through the most difficult times.

We can all learn to be deal with our stresses from these difficulties and often can even blossom under pressure. There are a few things that are available to help you cope at these times- emptying your emotional box so that you are managing your stress, having the right coping strategies at your disposal and being both mentally and physically prepared for anything at any given time.

​changing your mind

​Self analysis is a fundamental tool- sit back and think about these times- how have you reacted in past times of trauma and stress?

  • Are you the type of person who will sit down and breakdown and dwell on the issues- telling everyone how stressed and awful it all is- wanting to hide away?
  • Or are you the type of person who is proactive- gets up, dusts yourself down and gets back on the life train, carrying on regardless?

​There always tends to be two different types of personalities in a crisis- the reactive approach is is burying your head in the sand, emotional eating and drinking- looking for quick fix pick me ups whilst dwelling. The proactive approach is someone who already uses these practical coping strategies.

Seeking Help & Support- such as being with other people for help and support- this in itself helps lower the stress levels in the body.

Being organised- Making list of tasks that you need to do and ticking them off. This is great for the days when your feeling the brain fog and don't know what to do- make that list!

Look After You- Eating and drinking is vital and something that often goes out of the window when we are trying to cope- make those healthy snacks- I often find leaving a pint glass of water on the side in the kitchen reminds me to drink, then i fill it back up and leave it on the side where i will always see it. Now you can get some great water apps or even setting reminders on your phone. Nothing feels worse then being dehydrated and starving.

  • Breathing- Taking some slow deep and meaningful breathes are essential for getting you through any stress and hard times. Taking 5 minutes to yourself to sit or stretch- take deep breaths and just bring your awareness back into your body is vital for coping from the inside out.
  • Stretching- nothing brings you back into the precent like a good stretch- it wakes up the body and mind and gets the energies flowing
  • Energy exercises- doing the three thumps exercise is fantastic for getting the energies moving and waking up the whole body

​Its ok if you have both types of these approaches, but being active and using the coping strategies is great- even if you are going to reach for that bottle of wine and chocolate in the evening- keep going, you will get through this!

​What is your way of thinking? Do you have a tendency to see the positive or the negative in any situation? By re framing the way in which you think can have a massively powerful impact on your life- it can be hard at first but there are ways of beating it- Awareness of your thoughts & emotions- are they happy or negative? Write down three reoccurring emotions of thoughts that you have daily- its only from awareness that the best possible changes can come. So next time you are doing or thinking that negative thought or emotion- change it to a positive, the more you do this, the positivity you bring will start changing the neurons in your brain to fire off positivity.

  • Focus on what you can do- its easy to focus on what we cant do, but when we change this and start focusing on the stuff that we can do, its so much more uplifting
  • Listen to your instincts- don't be a victim to your own self negativity or others. If something doesn't feel right, or you feel that you should be doing something different- listen to your instincts, it usually is right!
  • Look after yourself- this can be trying when your trying to cope, but if its something that you do anyway, then in times of a crisis it will help you get through. Eat when your hungry- rest when you are tired, even if you are not sleeping, rest anyway. Herbal teas are great for hydration, and try simple snacks if cooking and eating are too much.
  • Exercise- its doesn't have to be strenuous- yoga, pilates, tae chi or just stretching- not only are they mood lifters, your body and mind will thank you.
  • Go for a walk- being out in nature and natural day light works wonders for the whole body and is great for grounding you.
  • Talk about it- don't bottle up how you are feeling, its good to let it out.
  • Be kind to you- Don't beat yourself up, its not your fault and it cant be changed.
  • Stick to a routine- keeping yourself busy as normal is good- but ensure that you do take time out for you- sit and do some breathing
  • Energy Therapy- there are many holistic ways of reducing the emotional stress from within the body to enable us to get through- the tools I use here at every chance have been life savers for me in coping. There have been times in my life when I have been curled up on the floor wanting to die, begging the universe to just take me, beaten and defeated. but every time i have got up and fought another day- so can you, you are much stronger then you will ever know.

​My mantra..... "You got this girl, keep going, keep breathing, keep believing- this too shall pass"

About the Author Jeani Howard

Jeani is an award winning therapist, healer, author and speaker. Jeani has on her own journey of healing overcome PTSD, clinical depression and agonising anxiety. A mother of 4 who suffered with birth trauma and pre and post natal depression, now prides herself on having worked with 1000's of adults, adolescents and women through pregnancy, labour and their transition into motherhood.

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