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Are you constantly mentally switched on?

24 October 2022

Its time to break the transmission for a quiet mind

When you perceive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. This emergency response makes your heart pound faster, tightens muscles, raises blood pressure, quickens breath and sharpens your senses. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.

The flight or fight response is essential to survive life’s highs and lows but is dangerous if not switched off after the incident. Stress management involves changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself and making time for rest and relaxation.

Try this breathing exercise when you find yourself “switched on”

Flower-Candle Breathing Routine

In Australia one of the most prominent trees is the eucalyptus, this breathing routine incorporates the flower.

  1. Breathe in through the nose, make it short and sharp and smell the eucalyptus.
  2. Hold the breath for the count of three.
  3. Exhale through the mouth and imagine you are blowing out a candle, make it short and sharp.
  4. Hold the breath for the count of three and repeat the routine for six breathes.

This routine will settle down the mind and using your imagination to picture the flower and candle gives your brain something to focus on, allowing your breathing to settle.

Being switched on all of the time is where life becomes a major battle. You can’t completely eliminate stress from your life, but you can control how much it affects you. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response (a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response). When practiced regularly these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity. They also increase your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure.

The emergency response can become the normal feeling for people under constant threat, stress or perceived danger, recognising the symptoms is the key to healing. Having the courage and awareness to acknowledge that you may be suffering from being switched on all of the time is part of the journey towards healing. Put your hand up for acknowledgement of your trauma and head towards the light, start by seeking assistance from a clinician.

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Acknowledgement (First Nations and Lived Experience)

selectability acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we provide services and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

We acknowledge those with lived experience and those who support and partner with us to improve mental wellbeing and prevent suicide across regional Queensland.

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