There was a time when the word stress was only associated with the strength and breaking or bending point of metal girders. However these days the word stress has a completely different meaning. We often point out that we are stressed or something is stressing us out. Stress is so much part of our lives that it is even being treated as a medical condition and as been associated with high blood pressure, strokes and even heart attacks.
Everyone is faced with stressful experiences, but not all stress is bad or because of something bad, but can be something good or positive. Whether it is a positive stressful experience or a negative one, the inner workings of our body act in the same way. First the mind perceives that we are under attack, only most of the time we are not, well not physically anyway. The body releases adrenalin, which causes the heart rate and the blood pressure to rise, which in turn causes us to breath faster, getting our bodies ready to run or attack. It is what is known as the ‘fight or flight response.’ However we recover more quickly from positive stress than we do from something negative.
Not only does stress alter the bio-chemical reaction in our bodies it can also cause sleep disturbances and alter our eating patterns too.
However, not all stress can be avoided, but here are a few stress relievers to help restore inner calm and balance.
- Do something physical; a run, a walk, a swim, play with the children, make bread by hand, so you can use up some of that energy rush.
- Do something calming; have a bath, listen to music, go for a stroll, drink herbal tea, sit outside, read a book and even sleep.
- Share; find people you trust to share what is going on in your life, spend time with family or friends, but only if they talk about something else.
- Escape; go out, do something that is not connected to the stress.
- Eat good food or a favourite food rather than snacking.
- Accept that the situation you are in stressful and right now you cannot change that. If the stress is because of a choice you made, accept that you made the choice and the choice was yours to make. If the choice was taken away from you, accept that you did not have a choice.
- Be patient; in time all things come to an end – eventually!