Some have defined stress as “the demands of life” – but these demands of life are actually stressors. Stress is the effect that these demands have on our mind and body.
Acute stress affects the autonomic nervous system. Heart rate increases, pupils dilate, blood rushes toward large muscles and away from the fingers and toes. Muscles can tighten and adrenaline and cortisol are released into the blood stream.
There are simple ways to manage the stress in your life.
At VitaPhysical, these are our top 10 ‘stress busting’ tips:
The effects of stress on the body can be extremely detrimental. When a muscle or spinal joint is stressed, circulation is reduced and both oxygen and nutrients are blocked. Massage and spinal adjustments provide relaxation, and as your muscles and spinal joints relax, so does your mind.
Walking around with hunched shoulders can cause you to feel worse. If you walk proudly with your shoulders back and you head straight you and the people you interact with will feel better.
3. Balanced Diet & Supplements
A balanced diet that delivers all the nutrients your body needs to function at its optimum level is essential for dealing with stressful situations. An organic diet is ideal. Vitamin B5 and Magnesium are helpful supplements to take when going through a stressful time.
4. Regular Exercise
Exercise is highly effective in reducing stress. It improves blood-flow to the brain, helping you think more clearly. It also releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and feel-good hormones. Fit people are better able to handle the long-term effects of stress.
Taking a rest isn’t only about not doing anything. A rest from work can mean putting the emphasis on what you do in your leisure time to counterbalance work or everyday stress. And we all need sleep for energy, good concentration and general health. Chronic sleep-deprivation can affect your performance at work, which can be a key factor in raising stress levels.
6. Practice Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are a great way to relieve stress. They’re simple to learn, simple to use, and can be done on the spot when you feel tension, immediately helping you to feel better.
This technique consists of taking three slow breaths to slow things down. Count silently and slowly to three when you breathe in (through your nose) and push your stomach out rather than your chest. This allows you to breathe with your diaphragm and to get a deeper breath. Breathe out on a slow count of six – through your mouth.
The rhythm goes like this:
Repeat two more times
Be sure to pace your breath. If you feel light-headed, then just slow it down a bit. Practice this several times each day and have it available in a stressful situation.
7. Practice The ‘Relaxation Response’
- Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.
- Stop your mind wandering and pay attention to your breathing. Repeat a word, phrase or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale.
- Practice for 20 minutes every day. Sit with a clock in view if necessary.
The relaxation response is a form of meditation which has been practiced for many years. It is a simple technique, but it is not easy to practice or to incorporate into your life. You will find your mind wandering, and will probably find it difficult to set aside the time to practice, but persevere!
8. Avoid Alcohol, Nicotine and Caffeine
Though some use these as coping mechanisms, long term, these faulty coping mechanisms will just add to the problem.
9. Learn to Say No
How less demanding could your schedule be if you said no to all new commitments? It can be hard to say no. Learning to diplomatically say no is quick and simple and, with a little practice, easy to do.
10. Seek Professional Help if You Need it
If you feel that despite all your efforts stress is getting the better of you, there are lots of people who can help. The International Stress Management Association provides referrals to stress management professionals, as well as guidance on dealing with stress.
For more information and guidance please don’t hesitate to call us on 0191 565 8886.
The information provided is for general guidance only and must not be used for diagnosis or treatment of a health problem. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.