How do you look when you’re under pressure?

Aloha, Happy weekend and here's cheers to taking a break!

Yes, I am on a holiday and I'm not afraid to say it, but I promise to return refreshed and renewed because that is what walking your talk is all about.

This week leading into my break, I was somewhere between  a mother who is in labour and giving birth to her child, and a newborn going through the actual birthing process?  I can't quite work out which it was more like but I can tell you this - the pressure coming in during this past week has been nothing short of phenomenal.  It must be a bit of Murphy's law and my deep care for those I am working with to ensure stones are unturned and stacked up, before departure.  The whole week has been a process of prioritizing time and headspace, but not matter how organized I plan to be, Murphy steps in and throws a few curly ones.

After leaving the police station Thursday (long story) on my way back to see my last patients for a while,  I realized that I have a look when I am experiencing stress and when I have that look, those around will react in their own way to stress.  Often its not until we register the other person's reactions that we realize how much we are under the pump of life - we can be so deeply into it, that we literally can't see the forest for the trees. In my head I can tell myself I am ok and coping well with it all, but the look says it all!

When was the last time you asked someone - "How do I look from an outsiders view when I am stressed or under the pump?"   It would be interesting to hear how your automatic pilot kicks in and what others see you do to compensate.  This visual can be the first inkling that you may need to get support, talk to someone, problem solve, discharge some energy healthily through exercise and are indeed experiencing health affecting stress.  Here is my profile of things to take note of:

1.  Eyes - are the eyes fixed and disconnected from the present conversation or event? You can be looking right at someone but be way out of the conversation or checking out'- often we see children do this when they are in overwhelm.  It can look rude and disrespectful but it can also be a sign of emotional survival.

2.  Speech - is the speech hurried, the voice sharp, the words mixed together and not if there isn't enough time finish pronouncing them? Is the story chopping and changing to new subject matter before the previous one is finished.

3. Is the look tense, potentially explosive, taut and iron fisted- I realise in myself that the less I admit the more I transmit by way of my facial expressions and body language.

remember - sometimes you just have to ask how your are looking from the outside in...


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