November 02, 2021
Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure. Many different situations or life events can cause stress. It is often triggered when we experience something new, unexpected or that threatens our sense of self, or when we feel we have little control over a situation.
When we encounter stress, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol that triggers a fight or flight response and activates our immune system. This helps us respond quickly to dangerous situations.
Sometimes, this stress response can be useful: it can help us push through fear or pain so we can run a marathon or deliver a speech, for example. Our stress hormones will usually go back to normal quickly once the stressful event is over, and there won’t be any lasting effects.
However, too much stress can cause negative effects. It can leave us in a permanent state of fight or flight, leaving us overwhelmed or unable to cope. Long term, this can affect our physical and mental health.
Many things can lead to stress: bereavement, divorce or separation, losing a job or unexpected money problems. Work related stress can also have a negative impact on your mental health. People affected by work-related stress lose an average of 24 days of work due to ill health.
Even positive life changes, such as moving to a bigger house, gaining a job promotion or going on holiday can be sources of stress. If you feel stressed in these situations you may struggle to understand why or be unwilling to share your feelings with others.
You may feel:
These feelings can sometimes produce physical symptoms, making you feel even worse.
How your body might react
If you’re stressed, you may experience:
How you might behave
You may behave differently if you’re stressed. You may:
If the stress is long-lasting, you may notice your sleep and memory are affected, your eating habits change, or you feel less inclined to exercise.
Some research has also linked long-term stress to gastrointestinal conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or stomach ulcers, as well as conditions like cardiovascular disease.
How can you help yourself?
If you're feeling stressed, there are some things you can try to feel less tense and overwhelmed.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean power lifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation.
Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously.
Eat real food
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up.
Talk it out with a friend
When you’re feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Listen to music
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol.
Everyone knows stress can cause you to lose sleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This vicious cycle causes the brain and body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time.
We always suggest that a lifestyle change is the best way to deal with stress but there are a number of natural supplements that can help you. If you'd like to try our Stress Buster Bundle click here.
October 27, 2021