As you are probably know, your body pays a very high cost when you’re under stress.  Numerous medical studies site the toll stress takes upon your health.  But before you ever get to the point where your health begins to suffer, stress undermines you in so many subtle and debilitating ways.  You’re not able to perform at your best.  Your productivity suffers.  Your relationships suffer.  Your creativity suffers. You miss the opportunities to deepen your satisfaction with life and your overall success.

What price are you’re paying for the stress that you’re experiencing right now?

You may feel that you’re managing ok because your body hasn’t broken down yet, but are you really getting all of the meaning from your life that you want? Or are you just surviving?

When you let stress go on too long, your ability to make solid decisions gets hampered, and you begin to lose trust in yourself and your choices.  You get stuck in a stress and self-doubt cycle.  Your life-force is drained and your emotional, spiritual and mental fuel tank is never quite full.  And when your energy reserves run even just a little bit low, you begin to get out of touch with yourself and what’s best for you because your judgement is impaired.

A simple example of this is the stress you experience when you haven’t eaten in a while.  Hunger is an indication your physical fuel tank is running low.  Have you noticed when you’re in this state, your judgement about good food choices is impaired? A whole bag of chips, the sweets left in the breakroom, a fast food run, or worst yet, late night binging on whatever you can find. If you do this enough times you’ll begin to struggle with making good food choices or struggle with consistently feeding yourself things that really nourish you.

Here’s another example of how stress can affect you in deeply paralyzing ways.  Let’s consider someone who was criticized as a child for making mistakes.  This happens quite often, usually unintentionally from well-meaning parents or family members. But some children, whose learning style is by doing, need to make mistakes in order to learn.

For these kids that live in an environment where they feel criticized, they may develop coping strategies for dealing with this type of stress. These coping strategies could lead to their hesitation to try new things or a hesitation to take responsibility for their creations in a way that keeps them from flourishing.  In essence they become paralyzed, they don’t move forward and they may even give up on experimenting, learning and growing.

Take a moment to get in touch with the stress that you’re experiencing in your life.  What does it feel like?  You probably feel like you don’t have a lot of control.  What happens when you attempt to make healthier choices for yourself when you don’t feel like you have a lot of control?  Often what happens is that you become confused or distracted because you can’t really see your situation clearly.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can break the cycle of paralysis, self-doubt and stress.  You can live a vibrant life of clarity where you can trust yourself to make decisions which lead to better health in all areas of your life. You can release the stress and rebuild trust in yourself, so that you can be more successful, productive and fulfilled.