Let’s face it; whether you’re a busy homemaker or a high flying executive, today’s popular mind-set is to be as busy as possible with nearly every hour and minute crammed with some kind of work. Yet the day-to-day pressure can build into chronic stress, which if ignored, can be detrimental to our mind, body, and spirit.
Shelve Your Stress with These Tips
1. Exercising Regularly – Exercise impacts a neurotransmitter that works like an antidepressant on your brain while lessening muscle tension.
2. Go Outside – Even five minutes in nature can help reduce stress and boost your mood.
3. Focus on Your Breathing – Ideally you should be breathing primarily through your nose through a simple technique called Buteyko breathing to help you restore beneficial breathing patterns.
4. Participate in Activities – Engaging in activities you enjoy brings joy and satisfaction to your life, which reduces the level of stress which you may be experiencing.
5. Healthy Eating – Schedule time to eat without rushing and be sure to consume fresh, healthy, whole foods.
6. Stay Positive – Keep a list of all that you’re grateful for and make a commitment to stop any negative self-talk.
7. Stay Connected – Loneliness can be a major source of stress, so do some volunteering, meet up with friends or take a class to meet others.
8. Take a Break or Meditate – Taking even 10 minutes to sit quietly and shut out the chaos around you can trigger your relaxation response.
In today’s non stop existence stress has a significant impact on the quality of life you experience, the goal is to reduce our level of stress (where possible) and develop healthy ways to minimise the impacts of stress. Ensuring that there is a healthy balance in your life is essential to good health and stress management. Adequate down time, repleting nutrient deficiencies, following a whole food eating regime where possible, daily exercise and social interaction combine to maximise your enjoyment from life and reduce the impact that stress has on you.
While most of us have stress in some form, an unhealthy response to stress happens when the demands exceed an individual’s coping ability. Stress is actually a psychological state of mind. When experiencing stress hormones such as cortisol are released which increase the heartbeat, cause sweating, uneasiness, and the urge to urinate, sleep disturbances may also occur. In the long run this leads to problems such as indigestion, acidity, ulcers, low-back pains, high-blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, depression, headaches, and fatigue, to name a few. Long-term stress also affects our immunity and reduces our disease-fighting capacity.
THE MIND – Stress Reactions
When stress is excessive, it results in one of four reactions- -anxiety, apathy and depression, anger and aggression and cognitive impairment. “Stress can be caused by traumatic events, events which challenge our limits, as well as internal conflicts,”. “For example, if your boss criticises you unfairly, you feel the stress.” You want to be able to explain why he/she is wrong but also have a fear of upsetting your boss and this stress or internal conflict causes you to ruminate and these thoughts can very quickly spiral out of control: My boss thinks I’m incompetent; I won’t get the promotion I deserve. This series of ruminations results in catastrophic thinking, which can lead to worry, anxiety, feeling depressed and insomnia.
Top Ways to Alleviate Stress
Talk about what is stressing you to someone who listens to you, understands the stress environment and cares about you.
Ruminations create a “pressure-cooker effect”. They bounce around creating pressure. Releasing this through talking really helps.
Most relationships in life are reciprocal. It’s really important to establish good social networks so that people may be there for us in our hour of need.
It is very important to remove the source of the stress, if possible, by taking control and being active. For example, rather than being a victim of bullying in the workplace, you may choose to either put in a complaint or .
Distraction is a useful technique to avoid stress. Taking up a new challenge or a new activity is often very helpful.
Smart phones, gadgets, and computers all help us stay super connected but at a high price. “Smartphones significantly contribute to modern day stresses in that the workplace and social media permeate our lives so that we are never really free,”. “We are working or socialising 24-hours a day, checking our phones last thing at night and first thing in the morning when research shows that each time we receive an email, we can take up to 20 minutes on average to re-focus on children, partners or other focuses.
The best way to deal with smartphones is to switch them off when at home; however, this is impractical for some. “The alternative is to have windows of time when you check your messages, for example 9 to 9:30pm, and to put it away for the rest of the time,” and be sure to avoid using your smartphone one hour before you sleep.
Today the aim is on maximising the usefulness of our time and squeezing as much as we can from every minute of the day. So how can a person find time in the day to de-stress? We need to learn to tackle the external pressures and even our own inner voices “We must replace these thoughts with new one’s that support us in the true value of taking time to de-stress the right way,”.