Reduce Stress in 5 Easy Ways
We all know that in today’s society that being stressed is a major cause for concern and is on the increase especially when we hear on the TV and Radio about the possibility of going into another recession. What we need is to find ways to reduce stress naturally and easily.
Stress in itself isn’t a problem as we all need a bit to keep us motivated or act on the “Fight or Flight” response which is our bodies primitive, inborn response to either “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival (when we had to either attack or run from the Sabre-Toothed Tiger). But it’s when it gets too harmful levels that something needs to be done to reduce stress.
How do you know if you are under too much stress?
We all suffer stress at one time or another in our lives and it can be for various reasons whether it be getting married, a new job, moving house or a new baby, but it’s when it is intense or lasts for too long that you can feel overwhelmed and out of control.
Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:
- Foot on the gas (Fight)– An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
- Foot on the brake (Flight) – A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
- Foot on both (Freeze) – A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralysed, but under the surface, you’re extremely agitated.
Signs and symptoms of stress overload:
The following lists are some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice from the list below, the closer you are to stress overload.
- Irritability or short temper
- Agitation, inability to relax
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Aches and pains
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please visit your doctor to rule out any other medical problems.
So here are 5 easy ways to reduce stress in our lives:-
- Meditate – Meditation can be an effective form of stress relief, it helps to focus the mind to achieve “thoughtless awareness”. If you would like to learn more about meditation, then please check out Mariette Jansen at drdestress.co.uk who runs workshops in Weybridge, Surrey
- Massage – Massage is more than a nice treat, it is great for relieving stress1, muscular tension, reducing heart rate and blood pressure and helps reduce pain. For more information about the Benefits of Regular Massage please follow the link.
- Exercise – Regular exercise is one of the best physical ways to reduce stress available. Not only can it release chemical’s called Endorphin’s that gives you the feeling of happiness and positively affect your overall sense of well-being but it can also relax tense muscles and help to improve sleep.
- Listen to music/self-hypnosis CD’s -Music has a calming effect on us (except heavy metal obviously :)) There are lots of great self-hypnosis CD’s available, Amazon has a great selection to choose from
- Make love – This is the first thing to go when stressed, but sex is a great way to reduce stress as it releases feel-good endorphin’s to be released to counteract the stress hormones. Also using the above massage and music can help you get “in the mood”, as stress has libido dampening effects on our bodies. Therefore reducing stress helps to increase our sex drive.
Q: What helps you to reduce stress?
1 Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage – TIFFANY FIELD, MARIA HERNANDEZ-REIF, MIGUEL DIEGO, SAUL SCHANBERG & CYNTHIA KUHN
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / <a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/” target=”_blank”>FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a>