Unfortunately, life in the 21st century leads to various stressors within our normal daily routine so our bodies are constantly in a state of heightened activity, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. If this continues for an extended period of time, it leads to a number of unpleasant consequences from feelings of anxiety and depression, through various aches and pains, even to serious illness. No surprise, then, the charity MIND reports that a staggering 40% (every 2 in 5) of GP appointments now include mental health issues, most of which are caused by stress.
Early warning signs that stress may be getting the better of you include headaches, back and neck pain, digestive disorders, overeating, drinking too much, irritability and periods of withdrawal. By far the worst consequence of stress is the body releasing extra cortisol, a hormone that causes us to store fat, particularly around the waistline!
Fear not, here’s our top tips for guaranteed stress-busting…
Stretch your limits
Flexibility training is the optimum physical route to relieving stress so be sure to try one of our on demand yoga or mobility classes when things start to feel a little intense.
Count how many strides you walk with each in/out breath cycle and silently say the words ‘inhale, exhale’ each time you breath in and out. Check out our on demand meditation videos to help you zone out and regulate relief-breathing techniques.
Laugh it off
Laughter unleashes a rush of feel-good endorphins so checkout YouTube for sketches, stand-up comedy shows and funny mishap videos. Keep a book where you can write down a memory or event which makes you laugh and refer to it when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Experts suggest that it is specifically the rhythm of music that produces a calming effect. It is thought that in our mother’s womb, we were influenced by the heartbeat of our mother. Listening to soothing music, therefore, we associate it with safe, relaxing, protective environment provided by our mother.
Juggling work pressures, family commitments and money is something we’re all familiar with but did you know that learning to do it with balls can actually help you to better cope with those common stressors.
It's often the small things in life that can make the biggest impact when it comes to relieving stress. With that said, treating yourself to your favourite indulgences here and there is a great way to reset and clear a clouded headspace. Whether it be a barista made coffee, a freshly cooked pastry from the bakers or even a new shoe purchase, reward yourself with a guilt-free treat for an instant mood-booster.
Take it lying down
What were once known as alternative therapies can now be found on the treatment menu of most high street beauty salons. The spa industry, however, has moved on and now techniques are blended with other, often more unusual practises to produce treatments that claim far reaching therapeutic benefits, particularly the reduction of stress symptoms.