30 Aug, 2018
6 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress – Not Just With Exercise
Stress is an everyday part of life, but you can reduce it.
When we talk about stress it’s usually as in “I’ve had an awful day. I’m so stressed!” – But what is stress and why does it happen?
Stress has been with us for a long time, like forever long. It’s one of the things that kept humans alive and allowed us to evolve into who we are today.
Back then, stress was key to survival. If your prehistoric ancestors got stress it was usually down to a threat, like a giant cat eyeing you up for a snack.
When facing this attack we get the “flight or fight” response. adrenaline, cortisol and nor-epinephrine gets released. Diverting blood to key muscles, and shutting down “unnecessary” functions such as digestion.
Stress to survive
Heightened senses… heart beating faster…
Ready to either fight or run, this was essential then and now – such as in an emergency. But what about when modern day tasks confuse that response?
Can’t think straight? Blame our friend “fight or flight”.
Stress directs blood to muscles responsible for fighting or getting away.
This means your brain may struggle with complicated tasks over a longer period of time. Stay in that zone for long enough and you can see a rise in blood sugar and pressure, and a dive in libido levels – lose/lose.
Chronic stress can get much more serious too, with studies revealing stress can lead too:
· tension headache
· fatigue (including chronic or adrenal fatigue)
· high blood pressure
· heart disease
· acne and other skin conditions
· allergies and asthma
· depression and anxiety
· autoimmune disorders
· sleep disorders
· eating disorders
6 ways to relieve stress
This doesn’t have to be as serious as it sounds. Find a quiet spot, use an app or music, or simply sit. Let the mind does as it sees fit and see what comes out from this quiet time. You can incorporate some yoga, or basic stretching too to help if you struggle to focus.
Get in nature
Science has proven that being outdoors can help reduce stress. In Pendle, we’re lucky to have so much greenery accessible on our doorstep.
Catching up with friends away from work or other stresses is a great way to unwind. Share your problems too, as often a simple outside perspective can really help take a weight off.
Easier said than done, I know. Try a book, movie or binge watch some Netflix. Taking your mind off the stress will give your head a break and enable you to approach it tasks with a fresh mind.
Great for many reasons, use a journal to track how you feel and work out the route of stress. You might find there a small lifestyle change to make the world of difference.
I know, I know. This isn’t the most appealing one (yet), but what if I told you it was once of the most effective? Yeah, now you’re interested.
Exercise is a great tool for reducing stress. It’ll help fight off disease, increase mental fitness, improve mood and make you feel better about your body.
Throw in some weights
Weights can seem scary, but they’re great. Adding some weights to your exercise can tackle stress, and decrease symptoms of depression.
Stress has had its uses throughout history and is still an important part for survival. That oncoming veering car kicks in your fight or flight response.
Everyday stress isn’t helpful though, with long lasting health impacts being the reality.
You should look to reduce stress day to day with relaxation, socialising and exercise. These alone are useful, but combined are a fantastic tool for fighting stress.
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