In today’s world it is almost impossible to escape daily stress and busyness. This has put our bodies under more pressure than ever. Small amounts of stress can help to push and motivate us to get things done. But if this stress is ongoing or becomes bigger and unresolved, the elevated cortisol (a hormone released during stress) can have negative impacts on all areas of our body.
So if we can’t escape it, let’s learn to reduce its effects and build our body’s resilience to it. Lucky there are some effective and easy ways to do this.
- Get outdoors and spend some time in the sun. Spending 30 minutes a day in sunshine has been shown to reduce stress hormones and aid in the recovery after a stressful event.
- Studies have also shown that exercise that increases your heart rate like running, walking and swimming have a stress busting effect. It is believed that they help reduce cortisol. When you are stressed it can seem like a hard thing to start. But you can always start small, even 10 minutes can make a difference.
- Yoga, meditation and hypnotherapy can all be a valuable aid in helping you to take some time to de-stress and rejuvenate your nervous system. These things can help your body and mind to relax after a stressful day. Hypnotherapy can change the way your brain perceives stress and then the messages it sends on to your body. You can go to a class or session or you can start with online programs or apps.
- What you eat also comes into the equation. Food can support the balance and health of your body or can increase inflammation, drive imbalance and cravings. When we are stressed, we tend to go for sugar, salt, fats and caffeine. We use them as a comfort and to give us a lift and get us through the day. But they actually do not help us. We need a variety of plant foods, good quality proteins and healthy fats. These foods provide us with the nutrients that will improve blood sugar control and brain function and assist in supporting our nervous system.
- Herbs, vitamins and minerals can also provide invaluable support for our nervous system. When we are in a stressed state we have an increased need for nutrients like magnesium and the B Vitamins. This is why supplementing with these, can help increase energy and balance us out. Certain herbs can also be used, we have many to choose from depending on how you react to stress. There are adaptogens that help build our resilience, nervine herbs that help to reduce anxiety and have a calming effect and lifting herbs that can be more useful in depression. I can help you work out which type of formula would be the most useful for you.
Being open and talking to family and friends about what may be ‘stressing you out’ can also help. A problem shared is a problem halved sometimes. Asking for help can be hard but can really change the pressure and load you feel and help you to see things differently. And if you see someone struggling, taking some time to ask if they need any help can help them to open up to you.
If any of these symptoms are new, worrying you or persistent then please see a healthcare professional.
Yours for great health,