Stress in Today’s World
Stress is common emotion to experience in every day life, whether that be from work, school, family, or financial reasons. In fact, stress has a very important original role in our lives – to keep us safe and survive.
Stress elicits neurotransmitters that push our nervous systems from a rested and relaxed state, the parasympathetic nervous system, to a heightened stressed state so that we can appropriate react to danger.
But too much stress isn’t good for bodies on a day to day basis. In fact, it can be quite harmful, resulting in negative physical and emotional outcomes.
High levels of stress and anxiety are common after a stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI)or the diagnosis of chronic illness. This can stem from physical changes like weakness or paralysis or the financial burden or toll that these take on the individual or family. The emotional and physical strain can feel overwhelming, so much so that you might feel like you ‘snap’ or lose control of your emotions. Or you might catch yourself ‘spiraling’, having negative thoughts or beliefs on repeat in your mind.
But you aren’t alone and there are ways you can manage this overflow of emotions and stress to help you feel more grounded and in control. Some recommended options are psychotherapy, anxiety medication prescribed by your physician, or a meditation practice.
While these are excellent resources to do on a consistent basis, an easily accessible option to help better manage stress and anxiety after a stroke or TBI is to practice grounding techniques!
A favorite of ours is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise which we will outline how to do in this article.