I was listening to an episode on one of my favourite podcasts, Zestology, about relationships featuring John Gray (author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus) and his advice stood out when it came to hormones.
I feel that my hormones are like having a constant battle inside me, highs and lows, emotions in extremes, never quite knowing what mood is coming next. And I also feel that society, and our lives today, stress us out, which is not good for oestrogen levels – a hormone which is incredibly important for women to help us operate at full potential and remain calm, collected and caring.
It occurred to me that my daily commute to work, where I often find myself becoming angry at some of the drivers on the road, coupled with a day at work filled with negotiations, compromises, conversations, decisions and deadlines is probably the worst combination and the greatest fuel for stress.
Gray pointed out in the podcast that when fuelled by stress our oestrogen levels decrease leading to females being more ‘male’ which can come out in many forms, such as thinking patterns of ‘I don’t need a man’, ‘I don’t need marriage’ and ‘I can look after myself’. When translated back into a current relationship this means that frustrations come out as the man seeks to provide for a woman that, due to stress, essentially is thinking like a man!
Now I am not saying that women need to remain meek and mild and let the man do everything. No, no, no! What I am trying to get at is that a lot of frustrations in our most intimate relationships are brought on by stress and that we feel out of control, unable to reach our compassionate side and open our hearts. So we close off, we get defensive, we protect ourselves. Not great for a good relationship.
This insight was a great relief for me to hear because, firstly, it made me realise what was causing some of my own frustration and, secondly, helped me pinpoint areas in my life where I am able to reduce my stress through practising more self-care and giving myself permission to switch off for a bit, disconnect from social media and reset.
The times I feel most relaxed, loving and calm are at the weekends, when I have the days stretched out in front of me for walking, reading, writing and socialising. Things I love, right? This is why I am determined to look at going freelance, cutting my travel and choosing work I love.
I don’t hate my job but I do hate the stress is brings. I want to be able to keep my oestrogen levels up and stay calm for my own sanity, for my relationships and for my long term health.
Stress should not be seen as the normal. It is not good for us and science has frequently shown that stress is at the core of many other health issues and diseases.
We only get one life and I don’t want to look back in 40 years and think ‘I wish I had spent less time stressed out and more time enjoying life’.
And so I have written 10 commandments, ways to help cut the stress in life and stay calm:
- Thou shalt not reply to your emails or messages the minute they arrive.
- Thou shalt log out of all your social media accounts and not feel bad about it.
- Thou shalt say no to social plans when you need time on your own to recover.
- Thou shalt take time to sit still and just breathe.
- Thou shalt spend no more than 5 minutes being angry at work.
- Thou shalt leave work on time every day, no matter what.
- Thou shalt use your evenings only for things you love doing.
- Thou shalt get outside every day and walk in nature.
- Thou shalt remain open-hearted to the people who love you, unless proved otherwise.
- Thou shalt have a positive outlook and keep smiling!
I am going to print these out and stick them on my wall as a constant reminder. Here’s to a stress-free life!