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What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Dear Cortisol,

You are too overbearing for me. IT’S OVER between us…….

— Tathagat Chakraborty

I used to be a strong believer in “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.“ But the truth is I think it’s important to recognize the impact that stressful events can have on our emotional state, or relationships, our reactions and our health. Science has given us all sorts of information about stress. In very short bursts, stress can actually boost the immune system but the problem is that in today’s world, more often than not, people are experiencing chronic stress. When the body experiences chronic stress it releases a hormone called cortisol. If your body starts over producing the cortisol it show up as several different symptoms like:

  • weight gain

  • muscle weakness

  • feeling more tired than normal

  • irritable

  • struggling to focus

  • high blood pressure

  • headaches or migraines

  • problems with digestion

Now the good news - when your body is showing you signs that it’s stressed, it’s talking to you! The important part is to listen.

There are some people who are so in touch with their bodies that they notice even the slightest changes and that inner alarm goes off and says “Ok, I am way too stressed.“

There are other people oh who may not feel stressed. Perhaps they are not slowing down enough to allow themselves to hear those subtle messages from their bodies. This often happens when we are rushing around and caught up in the constant doing in life. Unfortunately, in these instances, the body may send us a huge sign or wake up call. That happened to me with a stroke.

If someone asked me whether I was stressed, I would have said no.

If someone asked me if I was overwhelmed, I would have said no.

I feel as though I am much more in touch with my body now than I was in 2017. I try to listen to the messages. I try hard to recognize the signs of stress. I put obligations, responsibilities, and today’s society and the expectations that exist outside of ourselves often have us pushing harder than we would like.

This is a reminder to keep healthy boundaries for yourself in place you high on the list of priorities today.

Start by doing some simple things:

  • Allow yourself some quiet time for just you and your body - and do this regularly - so that you can get to know what it feels like to BE with you.

  • Make sure that you are getting good sleep, going to sleep on time. Make your bedroom a place that fully supports healthy sleep for you.

  • Say NO to obligations and/or responsibilities that you feel you cannot manage in your life or you feel will not serve you.

  • Talk kindly to yourself and know that this is a tough one for many people. Practice, practice practice.

  • Try out things that you have been wanting to try out. No more putting things off! What was on that “I’m so going to do this list?“ It’s time!



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