Stress and anxiety are more common in this modern era, more so than ever before. High workloads, family commitments and fast growing household debt are enough to tear hairs out. What is modern living doing to our bodies? Stress and anxiety in some severe cases can be quite debilitating. Whilst there is some degree of stress that accompanies the normal activities of life such as pushing through a gruelling exercise session, chronic stress can cause health problems.
Stress and anxiety can manifest in multiple ways. Some people lose sleep, others eat, whilst some are just plain old irritable. No two people experience stress and anxiety in the same way. The hormone called adrenalin is released in the body when we feel stressed or anxious this hormone can cause havoc with body processes. It can cause muscle breakdown, elevated heart rates and sugar cravings.
The key to avoiding stress and anxiety is to be aware of it and monitor your behaviour. Try to monitor your sleep patterns, feelings of nausea, breathing rate or signs of confusion. You may feel irritable, restless or exhibit avoidance behaviour.
If you think you are stressed then address the key problem. Take pen to paper and nut out exactly what is going on. It is always better to address the issue first before implementing a plan to aid the symptoms. Take action and make a decision. If work is your problem think about changing jobs or talking to your manager. If you have too much on your plate at home, start delegating tasks to other family members. Lack of cash flow? Make a budget!
To treat symptoms of stress and anxiety try natural remedies such as deep breathing, exercise and diet. Deep breathing involves breathing in though the nose slowly and out through the mouth, holding each breath for 3 seconds. Try this form of breathing for at least 10 breaths. This form of breathing causes a nervous system response in the body. It activates our parasympathetic nervous systems, which causes everything to slow down. Heart rate drops, breathing rate declines and you start to feel calmagain.
Any form of exercise particularly if it's fun allows you to clear the head and let off steam. Choose a form of activity that suites your mood or personality. If you are feeling angry and stressed try a boxing class to release your anger. If you want some alone time, swimming is a great way to feel secluded and complete peace. Dancing is a great way to laugh and take your mind of problems. Exercise has positive side effects - not only can you use it to reduce stress and anxiety it can also help to ward off other chronic diseases like T2DM and heart disease.
Good nutrition can be used to reduce stress. Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake as well as eating plenty of vegetables and at leasttwo servings of fruit per day is great to keep essential nutrients in the body and boost anti oxidant levels. High caffeine and alcohol intakes cause the release of adrenaline which as mentioned previously is detrimental to our body in these circumstances.
Make sleep a priority, poor sleep patterns have been associated with weight gain and poor concentration levels. If thoughts are keeping you awake, talk over your problems with your friends or a health professional.
Leave time in your day for fun. When was the last time you enjoyed a day of doing whatever you liked? When was the last time you laughed? If the answer is more than two weeks there are problems with work life balance. Laughter and having fun is a great uplifting way to ward of stress and anxiety.This week let your hair down, schedule some you time and enjoy yourself. Don't let stress and anxiety take over your family and work life, life's too short - start enjoying it.