We all encounter stressful situations. Stress is your body’s automatic way of reacting when you are feeling threatened.
Stress is a natural reaction and prepares you for ‘flight or fight’. Your nervous system releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to prepare your body for an emergency. Your heart pounds faster to allow blood to rush to where it’s most needed, your breathing quickens, your muscles tighten ready for action and your senses sharpen. Whilst short bursts of stress can help you to rise to meet a challenge, long periods of stress caused by todays’ busy lifestyle has become common, causing our bodies to be in stress mode when our life is not under threat of imminent death or injury.
Something that you find stressful may not be stressful to someone else. Equally, something that doesn’t cause you stress today may feel un-surmountable at another time. You may feel you’re out of control and things are getting on top of you. The first thing to do when you recognise that you are feeling stressed is to STOP and acknowledge that you are stressed and that you don’t want to continue feeling like this.
5 activities to reduce stress and gain control.
1. Abdominal breathing
Take a few minutes to do some deep abdominal breathing. Here is a routine to try and it only takes 12 seconds. Breathe in for the count of 3; hold for the count of 3; breathe out for the count of 3 and then hold for the count of 3. Return to breathing normally. This short exercise should make you feel calmer.
2. Channel your inner child
Research has shown that colouring can help you when you are feeling stressed. Colouring relieves stress by helping you to focus on an activity that allows you to take your mind off what is worrying you. Colouring involves logic and creativity which when used together they change the brain waves that are affected by stress.
3. Physical exercise
Physical activity can help you take your mind off your worries, improve your body’s ability to use oxygen and improve your blood flow around your body. Also, exercise increases your production of Serotonin which are ‘feel-good’ hormones.
4. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness helps you to be in the present moment and will help you to deal with stressful situations better.
5. Do something you enjoy
Making time to do something you enjoy can help you to relax and reduce your stress levels. Try a new hobby, something creative, journaling, caring for a pet, doing an art project, have a massage, do some decorating, dancing or yoga.
Write down one thing that you can fit into your daily life to help you manage your stress levels.
If you need help recognising and managing your stress levels get in touch for to book a free consultation to see how I can help you.