Mostly all of us know what feeling overwhelmed is like. It is something that we come across in many daily activities. You need some stress to just get out of bed in the morning and when you’re out and about driving in your car, you need stress to stay alert and respond to what is going on around you. So low levels of stress can have its place in our day to day lives. But what happens in day to day life if not dealt with gets piled up and becomes a big stressor.
Simple stress becomes chronic stress when things start to pile on! It starts to impair your important bodily systems causing imbalances leading to dis-ease.
Fortunately there are things we can work on which can help reduce our stress levels and train our bodies to better handle any stressful event that you face.
The key is to learn how to inhibit the stress response and enter into the rest response. If you want to change your stressed-out ways, you need to develop and use new skills that support relaxation and a calm mind. Our stress response is a part of biology and was created for survival, it comes included with the human operating system. However, rest and relaxation needs to be learned and practiced — they do not come naturally.
So What is Stress?
Stress is your body’s response to the fear perceived by your mind. There are many fears and stresses we as humans have in common — pain and humiliation, to name a couple.
There are also many stressors that are particular to each individual.
but also things like;
It is not only situations that cause stress we also deal with environmental toxins; Cleaners
even things like your personal hygiene products can cause a stress response in the body.
Since we all have different triggers, I would like to challenge you to be mindful of what are is a stress trigger for you.
When your mind recognizes a stressful situation, it immediately alerts your nervous system and endocrine system. From there, every cell in your body gets on the stress express. Everything non-essential in your body shuts down: digestion, sexual reproduction, immune system, cell regeneration, creative thinking processes, etc. Your heart speeds up, breathing becomes rapid, and blood is diverted from your internal organs. You are ready to fight or flee.
When Stress Goes Wrong!
Stress isn’t all bad news but when stress continues from one crisis to the next, or happens frequently, then your body does not have a chance to fully recover. If stress continues for an extended period of time you can expect serious health concerns will be in tow.
During times of chronic stress, stress hormones are released in your bloodstream wrecking all sorts of havok. The nervous system is then signaled to release a variety of hormones including adrenaline, cortisol, Nora adrenaline, aldosterone, testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and 60 steroids are also produced. These hormones and steroids are produced by our two adrenal glands. We call this the “fight or flight response”. This constant fluctuation of adrenal hormones results in exhaustion. Serotonin in your brain (your happy hormone) is inhibited by excess cortisol potentially leading to depression, anxiety and inability to deal with new stressors. Chronic Stress adversely affects just about every cell in your body. It can all be prevented with management of specific stress releasing tools, good nutrition and lifestyle practices.
The Need for Stress Relief
So where is the balance between stress and rest? To maintain balance in your workday, you should regularly cycle between moderate stress and rest. After major stressful encounters your body and mind need to reenter a deeply relaxing state. This cycle between stress and rest may happen every few hours or even several times in one hour during your workday.
Stress followed by rest is the key. Fortunately you do not need to take a long nap after every time feeling stressed, even though that would be nice. Stress relief takes work but is easy once it becomes a habit. Once rest is a habit, you will be able to recover from stressful events quickly.
The common these seems to be that stress is bad and we need to reduce or remove it from our lives. Yes, that is a smart plan to decrease stress where possible. It would be better to improve your ability to deal with the stress you are not able to get rid of right away.
Types of Stress Management
Yoga – A focus on movement and breath to build your ability to calm, focus, balance and to relax.
Meditation – A mind and body practice used to increase calmness, physical relaxation, coping with illness, overall health and wellbeing.
Easy to moderate Exercise – to engage is physical activity to sustain or improve health
Breath work- boosts immunity, increased self awareness, heal emotional pain or trauma
Outdoor activities – reduce anger, reducing blood pressure, reduce muscle tension
Art – calming and playful
Journaling – allowing your subconscious to organize your thoughts and feelings
Dance – Releases stagnant energy, increases feel good hormones
Singing in the shower or car – playful and fun, allows your body to enter a relaxed mode
Talking with others – community support can be extremely helpful allowing different thoughts of perception to be of support to your life.
Asking for help – Saves time and spreads out tasks reducing stress
Gardening – peaceful, exposes you to bacteria necessary for health gut and immunity
Hanging out with your pets
+ many more