Updated: May 2
In a society that is learning to adapt to a hybrid model of working versus living in a more balanced state, we are witnessing a lot of people not so thrilled about returning to their office jobs and having to “waste” time in the commuting journey, as well as appreciating the flexibility that they had to share more time with their children, and for some of them finally being able to develop a more balanced routine that is hard to quit from!
In spite of having opposite sides in the spectrum, people that are also craving to return because they want more social interaction! There’s now a dilemma in how leaders and CEO’s will handle a soft transition to a new way of working that will have to mix both sides, sometimes being required to go to your office and sometimes to stay at home!
However, employees and in general people are realizing their own power in developing more soft skills, becoming more self-reliant in terms of discovering more where to look for information, train themselves and for the proactive kind of people, questioning how long are they going to depend on a job to survive!
Hence, among all these productivities and job-related discussions that internally human resources and leaders are still deciding a new model! People in general are more aware of the healing effects of not “wasting” time in the traffic, being on a rush every day and not having time with their children during the week!
More and more individuals now are taking their power back in terms of demanding better health insurance conditions, raising their salaries, and above all considering their wellbeing in terms of a balance in real productivity hours and being able to enjoy their lives!
All over the world, employees are determined to look for a better, more suitable job that adapts to better working conditions, due to the lack of compassion showed by many companies, that unethically literally squeezed employees during the pandemic, with the justification of the high-demand for certain positions, such as online services, delivery of groceries and essential goods, and of course health workers.
Well, one of the many gifts that the last two years brought to many individuals, is raising the love for their health, appreciating their mental peace, time with their families and of course being able to shape their schedules to design mindful routines that encompassed time to care for their wellbeing!
Some of the new implemented routines for sure are learning to meditate, in the multiple ways that people can incorporate that kind of practice in their lives, whether it is by listening to a guided meditation, being in silence, taking a short walk in the morning or in the middle of the day, or returning to their exercise routines!
Being able to recognize that we’re not doing machines, but also human beings! Is a key message among the chaotic events that we all have withstand during these last two years, if the world, if nature and pretty much everything is changing, and that’s the way is going to be for another couple of years, at least during the dust settles. Then, we also need to grab courage to change as well!
This is a new opportunity for everyone to find your real self, to sustain your new self-care routines and if you haven’t implemented one, well is time to find something that can bring you a little peace to calm your mind, something that allows you to unwind your racing heart and moreover something that detach you from the deluge of digital stimuli that probably you also took up as a negative addiction during this time!
In order for you to really appreciate the power of implementing a resting ritual, that sometimes it doesn’t mean to binge tv episodes of Netflix or waste your time in social platforms, but it means to meditate, journal, being in silence or doing some exercise routine! We will review some of the multiple internal benefits of designing a resting routine and following up with it! And inside of these suggestions, I think you’ve noticed that exercise is one of the resting routines, indeed! Because in spite of not being literally “resting”, for your brain and for your body it is a way to detoxify the multiple stress hormones, to recharge the energy and to release a huge number of neurotransmitters as well as hormonal messengers that will regulate your mood, sugar and many other metabolic signaling mechanisms allowing you to have more quality of sleep, better emotional resilience and boosting your mental activity to the roof!
Stress may be viewed as an actual or perceived challenge to physiological equilibrium. Dukkha is a psychological state that triggers a physiological stress response, (ie, dukkha is psychological stress and sukha is a psychological state of ease that is devoid of stress).
The interplay of physiological pillars shapes the cycle of sukha and dukkha, namely (1) the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) regulate the involuntary processes of the body, such as respiration, with the SNS initiating the fight-or-flight response in times of stress, and the PSNS restoring a resting state; (2) the neuroendocrine organs of the HPA axis also regulate the stress response, enabling the start, continuation, and end of the stress management process and maintaining physiological balance (ie, homeostasis); (3) the lymphoid organs of the immune system produce and activate an army of cells and a cascade of chemical reactions, ultimately neutralizing or destroying pathogens; and (4) the microbiota, a collection of 100 trillion microbes prevalent in the parts of the body that interface with the external environment (eg, the gut) and prompts chemical reactions in the body in response to environmental changes (1).
Dukkha hijacks the body’s stress management machinery and triggers a fight-or-flight response. The state of mental balance in sukha leads to homeostasis.
Some form of somatosensory stimulus often initiates what is ultimately perceived as a stressor. Upon detection, the stimulus is analyzed to determine whether any action should be taken. Interestingly, this stress appraisal process may be afected by judgment. The limbic system, cerebral cortex, and hypothalamus integrate and analyze raw environmental stimuli (1).
Our internal architecture of the body is amazingly designed to serve as the best screening system, to identify, isolate and deploy a great number of signaling mechanism that will either upregulate or downregulate your stress responses! However, this will depend on the awareness, state of mind and attention that you have already invested to sustain in your life!
Why is it so important that you really put more emphasis and love in your wellbeing to regulate your stress and literally the internal cellular aging of your organs?
Well, our appraisal system is designed to encompass three big hub systems that will collect, translate and coordinate the secondary responses from every stimulus that we are receiving!
So, let’s start with the limbic integrative center: This hub stimulus mechanism is in charge of your instinctive fear response, that learns form past fears, your memories and patterns, allows you to predict threats and uses your instinct and emotions to fire a communication signal to the next hub center!
Cortical integrative center. This second hub mechanism, is in charge of your executive fear response and decision, and its functions are: orchestrates fear learning and expression, exercises emotional restraint, supervises and manages fear learning processes.
Finally, the third hub center, hypothalamus control center. Is in charge of triggering stress response and allows you to restore your homeostasis or balance! The functions of this center are: triggering the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis response, regulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) responses and brings back homeostasis.
All of these hub centers, are constantly communicating in a matter of seconds, and they’re giving you the best regulatory learning experiences to create memory of what represents a threat and what is just a permissive stimulus! They are also, releasing hormones, peptides and neurotransmitters throughout your neural projections to create a buffering effect and allow you to be at peace or to trigger you and initiate a more pervasive effect in your physiology.
The more you start encompassing in your life techniques to relax, that as mentioned before, can be very broad in terms of meditating, journaling, being in silence, walking or exercising! All of them will not only enhance these marvelous webs of protection that you internally have!
Nevertheless, if you return to unconscious behaviors, to enroll again in multiple activities that are draining energy and completely forget about your wellbeing! Guess what? Your body and mind will have no choice than to activate many of these mechanisms to create triggering responses that will activate the fight or flight mechanisms and for sure will raise your stress to chronic levels that will have deleterious effects in your overall health but moreover, they will sadly start creating epigenetic marks that eventually will develop a broad range of chronic diseases!
Therefore, the ball is in your court, waiting for you to open more your eyes, clear your mind of emotional clutter and give your body a detoxification process to sustain a balanced life and a brighter future, despite the chaotic future that might come again!
By now, you also should know that your health is the most precious gift, that has to be taken care of, that requires discipline and responsibility from you to allow a regulated lifestyle. Giving you as a gift, a homeostatic internal protective network to develop internal happiness and mental peace! Which is, what we all thrive for in our lives!
1) Househam, A. M., Peterson, C. T., Mills, P. J., & Chopra, D. (2017). The Effects of Stress and Meditation on the Immune System, Human Microbiota, and Epigenetics. Advances in mind-body medicine, 31(4), 10–25.