How Stressed Are You?
With the combination of Lockdown and our everyday lives, I wonder how many of us are feeling stressed and overwrought with anxiety.
Or you may be the opposite and feel totally chilled after being in isolation but starting to get a little more apprehensive about returning to ‘normal’ life.
Stress Is Natural
Stress happens when your brain senses a threat (real or imaginary). When your brain senses danger your “fight or flight” response kicks in releasing the stress hormone, Cortisol. But if we aren’t in actual physical danger, then the stress isn’t helping us.
Over time, chronic stress results in both physical and mental resources becoming depleted.
Towards the end of my last marriage, my stress levels had become very high. I had been living in fear and anxiety which really affected my health. I now realise my cortisol levels were at an extremely high level. When someone you are living with is aggressive, volatile, threatens, and mentally drains you, your senses kick in releasing those stress hormones.
It has taken me a long time to reduce those cortisol levels (nearly 2 years). I felt extremely tired, my glands were always up, I had problems with swallowing, feeling like a lump was always in my throat and developed nervous twitching habits. All these I now recognise as stress being held within. I had blood tests done, and a few medical check-ups but nothing (fortunately) showed up. But it was my own body being in a permanent sense of “fight or flight”.
6 Ways To Relieve Stress
It is impossible to get rid of stress altogether, but what is important is how we react when it enters our life.
Using different tools you can help to relieve and reduce your stress and keep it at a manageable level. These tools are simple life changes which we can implement at any time.
6 Ways To Relieve Stress:-
- Healthy Eating – Being aware of what we are eating and trying to keep a balance of foods
- Exercise – Being physically active improves our stamina, gives stronger muscles, and more energy. It also boosts the production of new brain cells and burns the stress hormone cortisol. Start off with gentle exercise, on a regular basis. A great gentle way is Yoga which allows you to practice deep, relaxing breathing while moving your body.
- Deep, Relaxing Breathing – When you breathe deeply from your diaphragm, your lungs fill with air, your blood pressure lowers and you get relief from the stress in the moment.
- Sleep – Insomnia is often one of the first signs that stress is affecting your health. High quality sleep is essential to allow your body and your brain to repair, restore, heal, and grow. Create a sleep environment that is the proper temperature, keep the light out, and is noise-free. Even consider placing a few crystals near your bed like Selenite or under your pillows like Flourite, Amethyst, Moonstone, or Smoky Quartz.
- Water – Being slightly dehydrated can lead your body to release increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Becoming dehydrated can lead to problems including mood swings, fatigue, and stress from impaired brain function. If you are like me I often forget to drink water as I naturally resort to coffee instead.
- Mindfulness – Being aware of how our relationships can affect us, good or bad. If certain people make us feel unhappy or drain us, limit your time with them where possible. Reach out to friends if you feel the signs of stress coming on. Suggest meeting up for a walk, and do something positive. Create fun activities, plan events. Analyse what makes you feel stressed and are these things you can change. Maybe a slight change here and there can make a considerable difference.
Stress Relieving Journal & Planner
Start making a list of how you could alter your everyday routine to incorporate the above 6 ways to relieve stress. Keep a journal of how you are feeling. Another tool I swear by is my Bach Flower Rescue Remedy, available from most health shops!
To get you started I have created the Stress Relieving Journal & Planner available to purchase in my online shop. You can download and print out as many times as you need. There are charts for tracking your water intake, daily exercise, deep breathing as well as daily & weekly planner pages.
Download Your Free Printable From This Planner To Keep You On Track!
I hope this helps a little and continue exploring other ways that keep your life as stress-free as possible. Sometimes easier said than done, but only we can shape our lives. It may be a gradual process at first…. but with great future benefit.