In today's busy world we are constantly being exposed to various forms of stress each day and I am sure that a lot of you would agree that Mother Nature has certainly been doing her best to add to those stress levels recently!
While a little stress, and the adrenalin burst that it brings, can help us to perform well, ongoing everyday stress leads to the imbalance and dysregulation of our hormone systems, undermines the immune system and, if not controlled, can lead to chronic illness, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes and poor mental health.
Stress can come in many different types including emotional, physical, environmental and psychological, all of which contribute to your overall stress load.
Signs and symptoms of stress overload include:
Ten Tips to Help Reduce Your Stress Levels
1. Remember to breathe – Taking 10 deep breaths gives you a moment to reflect, provides your brain with more oxygen and helps to reduce your blood pressure
2. Eat Healthily – While it is tempting to turn to chocolate in times of stress, it is better to try and follow a well-balanced diet which is high in fresh vegetables and fruit, with adequate amounts of protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds to ensure that nutritional deficiencies do not exacerbate your stress
3. Reduce Stimulants – Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and sugar may seem to be the only things which get you through stressful times, they add to the burden on your body
4. Hydrate – being dehydrated adds to your stress load and you don’t think and function well when your body is thirsty. A good rule of thumb for the amount you should drink each day is 30ml per kilo of body weight. Exercising and very hot conditions will increase the amount you need
5. Exercise regularly – while this may be the last thing you feel like doing when you are stressed; regular, gentle exercise will help to reduce those stress levels
6. Just say “No” – if you are feeling overloaded with commitments and demands from others. Look after yourself and pay attention to a maintaining a healthy work/life balance
7. Schedule “Me Time” – make sure you take time for yourself. Try yoga, meditation, reading, listening to music, having a bath or booking in for a massage or facial
8. Get enough sleep – having enough, good quality sleep each night is imperative to allow the body to rest and regenerate from each day. During times of stress this becomes even more important as being sleep deprived adds to stress on a physical, mental and emotional level
9. Address your Stressors – address the things in your life that make you stressed. If you feel totally overwhelmed and are not sure what specifically is stressing you then try keeping a stress journal and note down what caused your stress and you may see a pattern forming. If you are suffering from emotional stress then consider talking to a counsellor
10. Seek Help for Health Problems – Chronic allergies, infections, insomnia, autoimmune conditions and digestive issues are all sources of stress on your body. Visit your Naturopath for help with getting back to better health.
Thanks for reading!