It has become quite a cliche to say that we are 'stressed' but what does this really mean? The word is thrown around quite flippantly but actually it is a serious issue for those experiencing distressing circumstances that lead to stress.
All positive and negative circumstances carry some amount of stress and this is largely good for us as it motivates us and enhances our abilities to complete tasks. Preparing for a holiday, moving house, going away to university, getting married, are exciting aspects of life the affect of which is positive stress. However, a loss of income or going through a broken down marriage are hugely negative stresses and if the negative situation continues for a long period of time it can lead to chronic stress.
When the mind is under pressure, your body releases hormones, adrenaline and cortisol referred to as stress hormones. These increase the heart rate, blood pressure and boosts energy by releasing sugars into the blood stream. In effect it supercharges us by giving is the boost to get things done or maybe even make our reactions faster as in to run!
However, too much constant stress or chronic stress can lead to severe health problems. The increased cortisol in the body suppresses immunity, alters the metabolism and disrupts many other functions making you prone to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, weight gain and digestive problems.
So an everyday term often thrown about flippantly is in fact a serious issue for some. However, when life encountering stressful issues in life it is very important to manage your stress to relieve yourself of the pressures.
Here are some suggestions that could help.
1) Take time out to relax - this could be 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Close your eyes and take mindful deep breaths. Focus on your breathing which will help to clear the mind. This is a kind of mini-meditation which however short has shown in studies to reduce symptoms of stress. If you can then try taking some yoga exercises - again this doesn't have to be an outside class session but just doing a few yoga stretches or poses first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
2) Eat a healthy diet - Foods not only provide energy but certain foods also help to reduce stress by reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Try to incorporate the following into your daily diet - porridge oats and eggs for breakfast, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and turkey for your lunch and salmon for supper with a pudding of yoghurt with blueberries.
2) Take a walk - simply taking even a 10 minute long brisk walk outside in the fresh air can help to invigorate the body and relax the mind.
3) Write in a diary - writing down your thoughts is a constructive way to process thoughts, feelings and even tasks for the day ahead. Try keeping a notebook on the bedside table. Writing down as a reminder what's good in your life, what you are grateful for and the positive encounters of the day can also help to lift the spirits.
4) Find a confidante - we all need someone to talk to, someone to relate to. Simply talking things over can help to relieve stress. Also including people in our lives that make us feel better and happy so that when we reflect back on our time spent whether t was lunch or a walk we recall the conversation with joy.
5) Get enough sleep - Lack of good and sufficient sleep in itself is harmful to health and well being. Try Organic House Relax & Sleep Room and Pillow Spray and Bedtime Oil both contain a powerful blend of soporific ingredients - such chamomile, vetiver, lavender and are natural and organic products to help induce sleep naturally. The Relax and Sleep Spray can indeed also be used during the day to calm and relax the mind.
6) Take time out for a hobby - anything that takes your mind away from everyday life and the pressures can make a difference to well being. We all need something to look forward to that's fun. It can be simple as taking up gardening or joining a book club, or as varied as taking a painting class or taking dance lessons - there are countless things to do that are both fun and social.