In order to find out how to stop feeling stressed we first need to look at what stress is and how it can negatively affect us if we have too much of it!
What do we mean by stress?
Stress is the feeling we have either when threatened or when experiencing extreme mental or emotional pressure. It causes the body to go into fight/ flight/freeze mode. This causes the body to release cortisol and adrenaline.
This in turn can produce a raft of physical and emotional symptoms including stomach upsets, sweaty palms, fast heart rate, changes in mood, inability to focus, poor decision making and feeling pessimistic.
If you find that you’re suddenly suffering from low energy, headaches, stomach upsets, aches, pains, mood changes or you start coming down with way more colds and flu than is normal for you chances are you are stressed. Stress can also affect your libido and cause problems in the bedroom.
What happens when we are too stressed?
Emotionally stress can leave you feeling worried, with racing thoughts, inability to focus, poor decision making and feeling pessimistic. As most of your thinking capacity is taken up by the fight, flight, freeze response you might find it hard to remember things and leave you feeling disorganised.
You might find yourself to be snappy and irritable with your family, or too exhausted to be able to think straight at work.
You might find that you start relying more heavily on ready-meals and quick fix food rather than making healthy, balanced food. You might find that your appetite changes, either making you under eat or over eat.
You might also find yourself biting your nails, fidgeting, procrastinating or self-medicating with alcohol, nicotine or recreational drugs
In extreme cases, stress can lead to burnout, which is where you are physically and mentally unable to function effectively.
How can I stop feeling stressed?
Firstly concentrate mainly on what you need to do to get through each day. This could just mean having clean clothes or uniform to wear, food to eat for every meal and if at all possible a short walk to help settle the mind. Keeping yourself hydrated is key as dehydration will make you feel worse.
Delegate anything that does not need to be done by you. Cross anything that doesn’t need to be done at all off your list.
If something is beyond your control, don’t worry about it. Some things you can change and other things (like what is happening in the world around us) you can’t. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it. I’ve seen people getting stressed about the snow. We can’t make it not snow so the best thing we can do is to be as prepared as possible for snow and then let it get on with it.
Face the thing that most scares you. If you’re putting off making a phone call because you’re scared of the outcome, then make that call first, so at least you’re not having to worry about it all day. Then give yourself a reward, no matter how small.
Diarise yourself into your own diary. You matter too. Make sure you have some time in your day every day which is dedicated to your own self care. Block this time out for yourself and guard it with your life! To find out more about why you should prioritise your own self care please click here
Essential Oils can help with calming stress and reducing anxiety. Here are some of my favourite Anti-stress and anti-anxiety blends that you can create for yourself at home.
Please ensure that you speak to a qualified Aromatherapist before using essential oils if you are taking any medication or are pregnant.
Some essential oils are best diffused in a diffuser and others work well blended with a carrier oil and massaged in.
Take some time out for yourself. Relax with a Reflexology treatment
Having a regular Reflexology treatment can be beneficial for stress. Reflexology is a gentle, non-invasive treatment which has an all over body effect, despite being delivered via the feet, hands or face! It helps restore balance to the body and is generally deeply relaxing. It can be good for calming down stress and reducing anxiety. Having a massage or reiki treatment can also be great for reducing stress as they all have a calming effect on the nervous system. It can also be very beneficial to take an hour off the stress that you’re facing and to be able to relax a while.
If you are in the Boroughbridge or Ripon area and would like to experience a Reflexology treatment for yourself in the comfort of your own home, please contact me and I’ll get you booked in.
If you’ve not experienced Reflexology before read my article ‘What is Reflexology’
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Sarah Cooper is a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner, Aromatherapist and Writer based in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, England.
To Book: https://sarahcooperreflexology.as.me
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