Stress is an unfortunately common condition in today’s society. There are many things that can cause it: work, family, studying, the list is endless. Many adults experience feelings of stress on a daily basis, and this can have a negative effect on physical and mental health, as well as the overall quality and enjoyment of life.
Stress impacts our body and behaviours. For instance, you can get a headache (physical), become anxious (mental), and cause you to under or overeat (behaviour). You need to be able to recognise the common signs of stress, but more importantly, how to fight them.
Physical signs: headaches, chest pain, fatigue, sleep problems, stomach upset, muscle pain.
Mental signs: restlessness, feeling overwhelmed, sadness and depression, irritability, anxiety.
Changes in behaviour: Angry outbursts, social withdrawal, overeating/undereating, exercising less or more often, drug or alcohol misuse.
Cutting out stressors is an important step in improving your mood, but it’s not always possible to avoid stress completely. Read on for our top four remedies for fighting stress.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also important to get active on a daily basis, or as much as you reasonably can. Exercise can have a dramatic positive impact on both your physical and mental health.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what is the best exercise to reduce stress. It all comes down to what you enjoy. Any form of exercise will decrease your stress, but by picking an exercise or sport that you enjoy, you are more likely to continue.
High-energy exercises like aerobic classes can help your body release endorphins, whereas if you wish to focus on your breathing, yoga can strengthen your body’s natural relaxation response.
Getting your blood pumping releases endorphins, which are happy chemicals that lift your mood naturally and can also help you to develop good sleeping patterns. Not having enough sleep can affect your mood and stress levels and vice versa.
Regular exercise can help you to step out of the vicious cycle of not enough sleep. Activity and exercise have the additional benefits of increasing your self-confidence and, depending on your exercise of choice, encouraging you to socialize.
Supplements and natural remedies such as those at healthmonthly.co.uk can have a positive impact on your ability to manage stress. Some of the more commonly known stress-busting supplements include lemon balm, omega-3 fatty acids, ashwagandha, green tea, valerian and kava.
If you’re currently on medication, always consult a doctor before taking supplements. Similarly, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have any existing medical conditions, always obtain advice from a medical professional before taking supplements.
Scented Candles And Essential Oils
Lighting a scented candle or using essential oils can help you to feel less stressed. Using scents to impact your emotions and mood is known as aromatherapy. Some of the more soothing smells include rose, lavender, bergamot, vetiver, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, neroli, orange or orange blossom, roman chamomile, geranium and frankincense.
How can scented candles help, though? Well, candles have been used in rituals for centuries as they help promote relaxation and cleanse energies. What’s more, our sense of smell is incredibly powerful, and if we can connect a certain smell with a good memory, it can boost our mood.
In the evening, consider burning a scented candle while you relax, or put a few drops of essential oil into your bath. There are many other ways to benefit from aromatherapy. Have a look online for some more detailed guides.
Many people are addicted to caffeine. Found in tea, coffee, energy drinks and in tablet form, caffeine stimulates the brain. This is why some people insist they can’t ‘get going’ in the morning without their first cup of coffee. While caffeine has some useful effects, consuming a lot of this stimulant can increase your feelings of anxiety. It’s difficult to know how much is “too much” as everyone has a different threshold with caffeine intake.
Why does caffeine make us more jittery? Caffeine boosts our body’s adrenaline levels - much like stress. Caffeine causes symptoms like high blood pressure and sweating, and if we are already stressed and anxious, caffeine is only going to heighten the symptoms even more.
If you feel anxious or jittery, reducing your daily caffeine may help. Drinking caffeine after lunch may also affect your ability to fall asleep, and the quality of that sleep. If you wish to continue having caffeine in your diet, consider limiting your amount.