How do you respond to stress in your life?

As a female law enforcement officer, I received training in responding to critical incidents, managing disaster, and bringing homeostasis to chaos. 

I learned quickly the effects on my mental state and physical body from working in a state of heightened stress 100% of the time. Even during down time, in this job you are "always on" - always on guard, always professional, always prepared - which really means always stressed. 

This is a very Yang way of being, in contrast to my natural Yin feminine. I came to realize that this was not a sustainable way of life for me and I had to find ways to bring balance. 

This is when I began researching the effects of stress, burnout, and something called the Human Giver Syndrome. 

Human Givers are people who have a duty or moral obligation to other human beings. To give everything they have- their time, their attention, their patience, their love, their rest, their bodies, their hopes and dreams, their very lives sometimes, sacrificed on the altar of other humans' comfort and convenience. (Borrowed from Emily Nagoski Burnout)

Once I became aware that stress is a natural part of the human condition, and while dealing with stressors versus dealing with stress in the body are two separate actions - I began to see more balance and wellness in my life. 

This is a practice for me, it's not always perfect, and I am constantly striving to learn and grow more in my practice. 

As someone who has mental health concerns in my family history, as well as a history of being a perfectionist and people-pleaser, I know whole-heartedly that this is a pivotal part of my overall well-being. 

I know that taking care of my self is not as easy as scheduling in a workout and eating right, but that there are deeper steps I have to take on a regular basis to truly be well. I don't see wellness as a state of being, but rather as a state of action. The ability to flow from stress into calm and back into stress (and not getting stuck in one or the other!)  

If you would like to learn more about this, and join in the journey of discovering managing stress (not just stressors) in your life - then follow along! This is not only relevant for first responders, cops, military, but for anyone who has a high stress job, family, or life. 

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