What is stress?
It is a primarily physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to fight or flight mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemical such as cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action.
- Muscles get “pumped up’ with oxygenated blood
- Headaches and confusion/forgetfulness are common symptoms
- Can provide energy, but also anxiety and restlessness Long term stress makes
- The immune system lowers its defense
- Heartbeat increases
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Digestive gastrointestinal problems
- Skin related problems (eczema, psoriasis)
Reasons for stress could be many like moving to another location, separation or divorce, illness or death of someone, change in the living pattern, or major change in life. Individuals with anxiety are most likely to develop major depression after stressful life events.
Some stress management techniques
- Breathing – being anxious tightens the muscles that you breathe so it makes you breathe faster, shortness of breath.
Changing chest breathing to diaphragm breathing
in diaphragm breathing the air is directed into the abdomen.
Panic reduces breath- a series of several short breaths (inhale around 5 times, long exhale 1 time). Repeat this 6-10 times
Relaxation breathing- one deep, slow breath (inhale 5-6 second). Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat it 10 times
- Daytime naps
- Yoga, regular exercise ( reduces cortisol and increases feel-good hormones – endorphins)
- Laughter and humor- fun related activities, standup comedies, YouTube videos
- Listening to relaxing and soothing music (2-3 times a day)
- Kissing, hugging and intimacy
- Anxiety relieving applications
Some nutritional supplements for relief of anxiety and stress
Certain foods have a calming effect on the body.
- Complex carbs (whole-grain bread and cereals, oatmeal, quinoa) helps to release serotonin which is a calm-hormone
- Foods rich in sugar unbalance mood spikes insulin in the blood. Replace them w fruits, berries, and dry fruits
- Always remain fully hydrated
- Caffeinated drinks can make person edgy, nervous, irritable or anxious.
- Plant-based diet- rich in fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds, and nuts- excellent for managing stress and anxiety
- Greens are rich in magnesium (calming effect on mind and body) regulates the stress response.
- Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds act as and protect the brain
- Avocados helps us to boost our immune system and gives motivation and pleasure
- Bananas- an excellent source of tryptophan associated with healthy balanced psycho
- Apples, tomatoes, beets and dark leafy greens (spinach) acts as an anti-inflammatory substance and protects the brain
Stress management gives you a range of tools to reset your alarm system. It can help your mind and body adapt (resilience). Without it, your body might always be on high alert. Over time, chronic stress can lead to serious health problems.
Don’t wait until stress damages your health, relationships or quality of life. Start practicing stress management techniques today.
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