I just got back from speaking at the Women’s Prosperity Network UNconference. What a passionate group of women entrepreneurs! Their motto is:
“We May Not Have It All Together, but Together We Have It All!
They GET how important it is to have support, mentors and communion with peers.
I was there to speak about the brain and how it responds to your fears. In fact, I was there to help these powerful women relax and release their fears before they did something that is rated as the number one fear among our entire population!
And we did it right there! Live! Right in the room! 20 seconds at a time!
The UNconference is an annual event that brings this network of women entrepreneurs together for training and to gain resources to continue building their businesses. My partner Spryte (we have formed Legacy Life Productions and offer Transformational Travel Experiences – more on that later) and I were at the event to teach:
The 5 Minute Master of Influence – How To Create Your Ted-Like Talk in 5 Minutes AND Get Up On Stage To Deliver It.
Public Speaking is considered the number one fear and is also referred to as social anxiety or performance anxiety. Even the experienced speakers in the room acknowledged our little “game” brought up fears and anxiety for them.
Here’s what I taught this group that I want to share with you now:
The brain reacts to REAL stress and PERCEIVED stress exactly the same way.
This means that even these unfounded thoughts of fear cause the stress response of Fight, Flight or Freeze and that means you are releasing cortisol. Cortisol serves its purpose when you are truly in danger, but should return to lower levels within a short period of time. The biggest problem with your fearful thoughts is that you have them so often and that means you have a prolonged, heightened level of cortisol! The longer you “operate” at these higher levels the more vulnerable you are to Adrenal Exhaustion and nearly every other disease.
Here’s 2 causes of Adrenal Fatigue that I see ALL THE TIME:
#1. Taking On Too Much! You don’t say no enough and overwork and over stress yourself.
#2. The thoughts you have about what you are (or aren’t) doing. The self-judgment that it’s never enough. The worry about whether or not you’ll get it all done. This type of fear based thinking creates the very same cortisol explosion as working yourself too hard!
How to Prevent Adrenal Exhaustion?
Based on the causes, it’s only logical that you can take these steps to help prevent Adrenal Exhaustion:
#1 Don’t Overbook Yourself! You are only human! Sometimes you just have to say no!
#2 Learn to shift yourself out of Limbic Brain thinking (where neurons are firing in your Limbic System creating Fight, Flight or Freeze) into the Prefrontal Cortex. You do this by calming your nervous system in any number of ways including:
* Deep breathing
* Quick Visualization
* My personal favorite . . . Laughter Yoga
* Repeat a positive thought to yourself out loud or silently
These are just a few examples but whichever you choose . . . be sure to HOLD that breathing or thought for at least 20 seconds because that is needed to store this new thought as a memory.
Remember: EVERY time you recognize a fearful thought has come up and you use one of these strategies to calm your nervous system and shift your thinking into the more logical, decisive, processing part of your brain (Pre-Frontal Cortex) IT COUNTS!
EVERY positive thought you think for 20+ seconds has already started firing different neurons and creating a new neural pathway! Yay!
Last thing . . . I want to share something about Adrenal Exhaustion. You might be familiar with these signs of Adrenal Fatigue:
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Salt Cravings
- Tired or low energy – rely on caffeine for energy
- Dizziness (especially when standing up)
- Muscle twitches
- Low blood sugar
- Heart palpitations
- Sensitivity to light, or difficulty seeing at night
- Low stamina for stress, and easily irritated
- Low blood pressure
- Tired but wired feeling
- Poor sleep
- Tendency to startle easily
Here’s 7 Signs Of Adrenal Exhaustion That Are Often Overlooked:
- Asthma, Allergies, Bronchitis or Chronic Cough
- Behavior and Memory Problems
- Lower back pain and/or knee weakness or pain, especially on the side
- Heart Sounds – The heart normally makes a “lub-dub sound, with the second sound being much quieter than the first sound. In a person with hypoadrenia, the second sound will be equal or louder than the first sound over the pulmonic valve.
- Weight gain – even on a low-calorie diet
- Negative response to thyroid hormone
With the stressful lifestyle you are likely living, I suggest making Adrenal Testing part of your annual routine. The most accurate testing is salivary cortisol – 4 samples typically but 5-6 (middle of the night) if you wake up routinely and can’t get back to sleep.
And most of all . . .[Tweet “Take the courageous act of SELF LOVE to stop taking on too much!”]