When it comes to measuring STRESS TOLERANCE the ‘bucket’ analogy can be helpful – for kids, teens and adults.
Bucket size = determined by genes + personality + life experiences.
The bucket size varies from person to person.
Water = stressors | experienced / perceived stress in our lives.
Water flows in from different SOURCES of stress (stressors): the WATER LEVEL is effected by both positive and negative experiences.
When the water level gets too high, the water overflows = we feel ‘stressed out’, overwhelmed, snappy, melting down.
While we can’t change the size of our buckets we can make (life) adjustments: we can add ‘taps’ or ‘RELEASE VALVES to the bucket.
Taps present COPING STRATEGIES:
Some are HELPFUL and reduce the water/stress level we experience.
Others are UNHELPFUL – we think we are helping ourselves but in fact they recycle the water back into the bucket.
As April, #stressawarenessmonth, came to a close, we looked at the stress cycle & coping strategies.
These days, we are constantly chased by ‘virtual lions’ (negative news & media, pictures), lack of social connection, anxiety, etc. We don’t complete the stress cycle and the stress hormones keep circulating in the body.
In nature/animals – no matter the response (fight, flight or freeze) – the stress cycle generally completes through SHAKING.
Finding various, playful ways to resolve the stress cycle was the main focus in yoga classes last week:
Moving/shaking fluidly created movement ripples and released stuck energy, re-setting the nervous system.
Combining hand-eye coordination, balance/vestibular activation, proprioception (where we are in space), interoception (awareness of our internal landscape) and somatic sensations (arising from the skin) created a fun environment for exploration for kids, teens and adults alike.