What Is Stress?

 

We all need a certain amount of stress in our daily lives. At times though this stress can become unmanageable and we need to do something about it.

If you are suffering from:

  • sleeping badly

  • palpitations

  • panic attacks

  • constant worry

  • digestive problems

then you may be experiencing a period of stress.Talking through your worries with a caring professional can help considerably.

Common causes of stress are:

  • inability to say no to others eg taking on too much work

  • relationship difficulties

  • family distress

  • financial troubles

  • death of a loved one

  • moving home

How Stress Affects the Body and Brain

When we are stressed the body’s impulse is to react in one of 3 ways: fight, flight or freeze. These reactions protect us from danger. Under stress a part of the brain called the hypothalamus sends messages to the adrenal glands which produce stress hormones called cortisol. Cortisol raises blood sugars and blood pressure so that we are able to face the immediate danger or stress. However it is unhealthy to be in this state for a prolonged period. Sustained stress can lead to anxiety, depression and disease.

Ways To Alleviate Stress

  • breathe deeply
  • meditate, use a YouTube video or CD to help you focus
  • work out what may be worrying you and prioritise a list of things to do
  • share your worries with your partner or a friend
  • spend some time out of doors: go for a walk, do some gardening
  • take up a new hobby or interest 
  • watch a funny movie or some live comedy
  • get some exercise, you may be pleased to know that sex counts!
  • practice some yoga poses
  • have a relaxing bath with candles and music
  • book a massage or reflexology session

 

My next blog post is about post traumatic stress.