The warmth of the sun felt wonderful this morning whilst meditating in the garden. As I completed my mediation, my eyes fell upon an ant on the ground.

This lonely ant scuttled speedily in all directions. It was relentless.

Scuttling from one spot to another, without stopping for a breath. It almost seemed a little lost and confused.

This reminded me of a time when I felt lost, suffering from stress and anxiety and was thankful to how different my life is now.

The ‘S’ word seems to have become all too common. ‘I’m stressed! That’s stressful! ’ are words we tend to use far too often.

Unfortunately in today’s society, we seem to be faced with challenging situations and find it difficult to cope whether that is because of work, health, relationships, or money pressures.

I too, was in that category and found it very difficult to escape the negative spiral of my thoughts that encompassed my mind like a helpless fly in a tangled web.

Stress is a normal state ONLY when our brain perceives a situation of threat or danger.

When this happens, our brain stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for survival and shuts off anything that isn’t needed including the cortex – part of the brain responsible for higher order thinking.

There is an increase in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure ready for our body to fight or flee.

Stress hormones are released which results in a surge of energy in preparation of a response to the threat.

However, our brains are now responding in the same way to non–life threatening situations: pressure of work relationships, and lifestyle are resulting in our hormones wreaking havoc on both our bodies and minds.

The impact of chronic stress is humongous.

You can suffer from: insomnia, fatigue, irritability, increased blood pressure, palpitations, headaches and a lowered immune system – so we feel physically ill! Because of the constant fatigue, our brain tries to replenish the lost energy by craving carbs! That’s where comfort eating comes in.

Our brain function is actually minimalised so we struggle to function effectively, or to make complex decisions.

Stress reduces creativity, memory and motivation so we end up spending longer on tasks and just don’t seem to achieve the result we desire.

Stress affects our brain and body at a cellular level causing mass destruction.

We feel stressed, yet we don’t make changes.

We feel the impact, yet we carry on allowing stress to harm us! Don’t just plod on to the point of a breakdown.

And how does it all start? One negative thought leading to another and another… Don’t allow the ‘S’ word to take over.

Be aware of the impact of stress and MAKE POSITVE CHANGES!