Seems when we are asked the question, “are you stressed?” there are two default answers.
I find, it’s either a straight up “No” (cough bull crap), or patients equally tell me they feel they manage their stress ok. Both of these responses lead me to the same conclusion – we are totally unknowing when it comes to what stress actually is – we think we’re doing a good job of dealing with it, yet we are completely unaware of what it stress really means.
In this current age, we are living in the height of a stress epidemic, and it’s running its ugly self absolutely rife through us all. Once it was all kinds of hip & wall street-esque for us to be ‘busy,’ it gave us a sense of worth & importance to be ‘busy’ and no one batted a smoky eyelid.
Now days, stress isn’t a by product of our status, but rather a reality of common everyday modern day life – sad, boring and true. Unfortunately we’re not designed to work this way, stress is making us sick, overweight, tired, hormonally challenged, infertile and depressed.
Whilst we can recgonised that stress is an issue, we’re not really taught much about what it actually is and most importantly how to cope. For want of a less dramatic visual, we are currently drowning in stress, and it’s very easy to get sucked into the vortex of it, and almost near impossible to crawl out of stress’ clutches.
Perhaps you’re not sure if you are stressed? I’m always over here banging the beat of my drum, empowering women (and men) to get a grasp on their own wellbeing, but it’s so important we learn to listen to what our bodies are telling us, to be able to identify glitches as they arrive and take our own wellness seriously.
Nobody else really should have more of a vested interest in your health, than yourself, but it can be tricky to decipher what’s going on inside, especially when we are under the pump.
So there are a few key things I like to help patients look out for when trying to recognise stress.
+ you’re recurrently unwell
+ you have digestive issues
+ you’re gaining weight very easily
+ you have continual body aches or pains
+ headaches are frequent
+ your eyes feel like they are being pulled back by rubber bands
+ your menstrual cycles are all over the shop or non existent
+ you’re very tired
There are some very simple solutions we can all implement into our lives to help us manage stress. Here are my favorites:
+ Take a bath. Research shows that the warmth and fluidity of the water help to release serotonin, the feel good hormone. This helps to chill out the stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin). It’s a very simple technique that really makes for a huge difference.
+ Mindfully eat. Eating fast and junky foods places unnecessary load on your digestive system. Fueling your body with foods full of antioxidants (think bright colourful veggies) helps the body to mop up damage from environmental toxins. If the body doesn’t have adequate vitamins and minerals, it can’t run well. It’s pretty simple and very easy to implement.
+ Get laughing and be social. Get out more, spend time with friends. Getting your giggle on has been proven to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) by almost 40%. It too helps to release serotonin and increases blood flow which helps to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to your insides. It’s also an immune boost too!
+ Get it out. Writing down your thoughts, planning and journaling are all great ways of getting worries, thoughts and ideas out of your head. Making lists is another great way to ensure you can calm down the mind a little too.
These are just a few super simple solutions we can all easily implement immediately. Obviously there are some cases of ‘serious stressors’, but it’s important for anyone facing any kind of stress, to keep things as simple and realistic as possible, everybody will benefit from lightening things up a little and learning some powerful skills in stress management.
It’s important we really understand what’s going on with stress and not push it aside, to a place where it can manifest and become a dangerous illness.