What is Stress??
What is Stress??
Stress is the way we react to life experiences, whether they are mental, emotional, physical or spiritual. These events can be accidents, events that are uncontrollable, or events where it can affect your life/death situation.
When a situation happens, your nervous system tells the hypothalamus to get the adrenal glands to release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These are the “fight or flight” responses. These hormones give you the quick boost of energy and additional blood support to fight or run away from the stressor. Once the situation has passed then the excess production of cortisol and adrenaline stop.
Stress can also be work, financial, social or home situations, your way of thinking or even procrastination, grief, or the feeling of being overwhelmed. This is generally our daily stressors, and these can keep the adrenaline and cortisol running through our bodies for far longer than what is necessary.
Signs of Stress
Physical signs and symptoms of too much stress can include: Stress/tension headaches or migraines, increased depression, makes it hard to fall asleep or staying asleep, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, IBS and other digestive issues, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fertility problems and missed periods, and muscular tension including in the legs, arms, back and headaches.
Too much stress also affects the immune system, weakening it and reducing your body’s defences against viruses and other infections. Having a lower immunity also increases the amount of time that it takes your body to recover from illness or viral infections.
Emotional stress indicators can be moodiness, anxiety, lack of motivation, restlessness, sadness depression and irritability. These can lead to overeating, smoking, drugs, panic attacks and social isolation.
Working out how to deal with stress
First thing you need to do is get to the bottom of the cause of your stress. Is it money, relationships, work, or something else. Then look at an action plan to deal with the cause, if its financial go and see a financial counselor, if its marital go see a marriage counselor. Getting professional help is the hardest thing to do for most people, but it also has the biggest rewards in reducing your stress.
Making a list of what is stressing you and dealing with them one at a time will help reduce your stress and show you how much work on yourself you have been doing. By making lists you can also identify what stress is leading to more stress, such as problems at work are making you tired and cranky at home, which is leading to home problems with family and friends, which is leading to depression.
Second thing you need to do is look after the signs and symptoms that have manifested emotionally, mentally and physically. These things take longer to do, and you will need to have the willpower and motivation to do them, which is the hardest part, especially for those suffering from depression. There are many different ways of dealing with stress and the affect it has on our body, these are just a few to get you started.
Ways of dealing with Stress
Having an aromatherapy massage, facial or even hand/foot massage, can help relax the body’s muscles and relax the mind. Having an oil burner or diffuser on with your favourite scent can also help emotionally and mentally. Scents such as Lavender, Vetiver, Jasmine, Bergamot, Chamomile, Rose, Frankincense, Patchouli, Geranium, Lemon Balm, Fennel, Basil (Holy & Sweet) and Ylang Ylang.
Herbs can also be useful in treating stress. They can be made into a tea or tincture, put into baths, steam bowls or foot soaks, or made into infused oils and used topically. Herbal supplements are now becoming more readily available for those who need a different way of ingesting herbs. Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Chamomile, Valerian, Lavender, Brahmi, Lemon Balm, Passionflower and Rholiola
Crystal healing has been around for thousands of years and is becoming more popular. Having crystals within 2 feet of you helps the energy of the crystal flow into your energetic/auritic field to help you heal. Healing crystals such as Amethyst, Fluorite, Black Tourmaline, Lepidolite, Angelite, Sodalite and Rose Quartz
Diet and Exercise
Diet high in leafy green vegetables have a rich source of magnesium which is great for reducing stress. Omega 3 foods such as tuna, salmon, flaxseed, almonds, avocado and walnuts are great for reducing stress hormones. Other foods such as yoghurt, turmeric, pumpkin seeds, eggs and brazil nuts are also good for reducing stress.
Aerobic exercise such as sunning, dancing, spinning, skating, etc., produce endorphins that help with the ability to sleep and reduce stress. Things such as aerobics, yoga, Pilates, walking, swimming, dancing and cycling at least 30 mins every day will help reduce stress, help boost your breathing and heart muscles and tone/firm your muscles.
Tai Chi and yoga are a great way to incorporate physical, mental and emotional healing all at the same time. Calming the mind by focusing on body movement helps you to think more clearly.
Other things to help
Meditation or deep breathing exercises are a great way to calm the mind and forget the stressors of the day. Having a calm mind, can also help you see things with greater clarity and better understanding of yourself and the way in which you react to things.
Journaling is also another way to help with the mental and emotional side of stress. By keeping a journal, your are getting onto paper the thoughts and feelings that are causing you stress. There are a number of ways that you can deal with your journaling. You can write it down and never look at it again, your can burn it after you have read it to get all the negative feelings out of the house and your energy space, or you can re-read what you have written a week or a month later, look at what you were thinking or feeling in that time and see if you are learning from what you needed to learn from that period or if there are further changes that you may like to make in your life.
Socialising and getting out with friends is another great way to deal with stress. Going to a walk with friends and chatting about everyone’s week, in this time of COVID-19, having a Zoom party with all of your friends, attending church or other spiritual activities.
Self-help webinars or documentaries to help give you tips on ways of changing your thought patterns and daily routines to help encourage a healthier frame of mind, body and spirit connection.
Hobbies that you like but never had the time to do, now make the time, even if its just 2-3 hours a weekend that you take for the hobby that takes you away from the stress affecting you.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of things that you can do to reduce the stress in your life but can be a starting point. This can help you look at ways that you can help your body recover from stress and live a happier healthier life that you want.
All information supplied here is for educational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional before changing your diet or exercise. Please check to see if there are any contraindications on the use of any herbs or essential oils in relation to any current medications or illness that you have before taking any.
(C) Keza's Natural Therapies 2020