Stress, we all have it in our lives only sometimes it can get a little out of hand and are unbearable when you can’t quite manage it.
What Is Stress
Stress is everywhere, your neighbour, your mum, your friends the stranger walking down the street, however each and every one of these people deal with stress in their own way. It’s an everyday experience and can be good for us in fact it is good for us.
Stress is what gets you out of bed, it helps you to move quicker when you’re late for work or need to react quickly to a certain situation.
It’s when these stress levels get out of hand and we become a little over run with things to do with not enough resources to help that stress becomes a problem.
There are three levels of stress that people deal with daily:
Calm No Stress
This level of stress can be just as bad as having too much stress, it’s the times when we’ve got nothing to do and we don’t have motivation to do anything or get going, it can be levels of boredom and depression with performance levels being low.
Eustress is where the majority of people sit in their everyday lives, it’s when your performance levels are at their peak, and you’re able to get jobs done and carry on day to day with no problems. This is the stress that we want to have in our lives, I like to see it as Useful stress.
This level is when those jobs you were doing so well getting done start to pile up, the kids need attending to, the boss is demanding more and more and you just don’t have enough internal resources to get them done, your performance levels start to decrease and you can feel like giving up.
What Happens When I’m Stressed
When stress levels reach the distress area it can begin to affect your health, your body reacts to stress is a particular way which can be worrying when you don’t know why you are having certain symptoms.
The symptoms of stress can include:
- Pounding heart
- Chest pain
- Sweaty palms
- Diminished sex drive
- IBS or Diarrhoea
- Weight gain or weight loss
These symptoms can be a sign that your body has entered what is known as the stress response it’s how your body deals with high levels of stress, back in the cave man days the stress response was useful for them as their bodies needed to be able to get them ready to fight or flight.
At a time of attack our caveman ancestors body’s would naturally release hormones called cortisol which is released in response to fear, or stress in small intermittent doses this is perfectly fine it’s there to help us to act react and our bodies to adapt. However sustained periods of stress and cortisol being released can have a massive detrimental effect on our entire wellbeing.
Aside from these things feeling like you just have too much to do and not enough help can make you feel rather down, emotional and helpless but taking a step towards change can help to rid you of these feelings of stress.
What Can I Do To Lower Stress Levels
So what can you do to reduce levels of stress in your life? If you are feeling that you’ve got a bit too much stress in your life there are a few techniques that you can use to help reduce and help you to live your life without limits.
I could tell you to quit your job if that’s what’s causing the stress but understandably that’s easier said than done and sometimes we simply can’t just quit and leave the thing that is causing us stress, but these little tips will help you to feel better day to day:
I’m not talking about Ohms and ahhhhs mediation here just simple 10 minutes of lying down, relaxing and listening to meditation music shutting of the world and not allowing any distractions into your space for those 10 minutes. This will help to calm you down and if you can do it in a morning it sets you up for a calmer day.
Slow Controlled Breathing
There’s a technique I show clients which is called Buddha belly breathing which is breathing through your belly, when we feel stressed we take short shallow breaths which stops you from having enough oxygen causing more stressful feelings. If you can learn to breathe through your belly so when you breath in your belly comes out and when you breath our your belly goes in. this technique will need practice but give it a go.
It’s an old tip but exercising really does make you feel all over better, when we exercise our body releases hormones called endorphins these are known as the happy hormones. Even a few minutes a day can help to make you feel much better daily. Go for a walk, get some fresh air and take in your surroundings whilst out in the open.
These are all really helpful tips to overcome and rid yourself of too much stress.
I found a great quote whilst writing this which goes:
“I’ve met many people whose lives have been filled with worry and stress, most of which is about things that haven’t happened”