What is stress?
Stress is not a disease, although it may feel like one since it affects our breathing, immune system, thoughts, and other functions of the body making us feel unwell. Stress is a response; how we cope with a situation presented to us whether real or imaginary.
The more difficult a situation, the higher stress we experience.
Everyone experiences stress differently, a task that may seem challenging for one may prove troublesome for another.
What causes stress?
The trigger for stress will vary for everyone. It is important to be aware of the different types of stressors that may occur, these may come from traumatic events to minors tasks in daily activities. The different types of stressors may include:
- Over working
- Harassment within the work place
- Financial Stress
- A death in the family
- Traumatic accidents
- Natural disasters
- Anger management
What if it is left untreated?
If left unattended, over time stress is the building block for more significant health. Symptoms we may experience during stressful periods are headaches, fatigue, insomnia, aches and pain, nervousness, or become emotionally challenged. These are just some common signs/symptoms experienced by those going through stressful stages.
Much research has shown that stress also affects the autonomic nervous system, these take form as the following:
Stress reduces the immune systems’ function of fending off bacteria and viruses making you vulnerable to catching other people’s diseases such as the common cold.
Stress has a strong effect on those who are predisposed to heart conditions. It elevates blood pressure along with heart rate and cholesterol levels.
Prolonged stress upsets the digestive tract especially the stomach.
Have you ever heard someone complain about not wanting to eat anymore after an argument or when feeling upset? On the other hand, others may tend to over-eat especially comforting food such as chocolate!
Whether eating too much or none will both affect the digestive system. Some symptoms you may experience as a result of stress are stomach ulcers, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, and constipation/diarrhea.
Stop Stress in its tracks
When you feel that stress is coming on or you have already found yourself caught up in the act. There are many ways you can decrease stress levels and approach peace of mind. We recommend:
- Music: Putting on your favorite tunes may help soothe the mind and change the mood.
- Breathe: One of the most important things you can do when feeling stressed out is take deep, slow breaths. Since stress affects our breathing negatively, we tend to lack the oxygen circulating in our body. Breathing will help oxygenate the mind leading to a clearer head.
- Stop and smell the flowers: Lavender or its essential oils have properties that help calm the body and destress the mind.
What can help manage Stress?
Managing stress just takes a bit of will power and routine, simple habits that are practiced daily can greatly help reduce the stress build up leaving you feeling happier and healthier than before. Below are some basic activities that can help you manage your own stress:
- Tai Chi
- Herbal Medicine
- Take a holiday break
- Get plenty of sleep
- Find a hobby
- Have a massage
- Talk to a supportive friend or counsellor
It does not matter what you choose to do, if you can take some time throughout the day to just attend to one of these activities you may find yourself to be happier and less stressed.
Stress is not always bad. Some people thrive on stress and use it to get things done. Stress is experienced differently by everyone. Having a different view of an event may just be what is needed to change how you may feel.
A Solution for Stress!
If you are finding it difficult to manage stress in your life and want to learn to focus your mind and improve health outcomes, book an appointment or call to speak with one of our highly experienced practitioners who will be happy to guide you towards better health and less stress!