12 Weeks to a Healthier You – Week 11 Stress
Stress is your body’s way of dealing with a demand or a threat. When you feel like this your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol into your body. Your heart pounds fast, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens and senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speeds up your reaction time and enhances your focus. This is also known as the flight or fight response, it is your body’s way of protecting you.
Small bursts of stress is essential as it can help you stay focused, energetic and alert. But when stress is beyond your comfort zone, stress stops being helpful and can cause major damage to your mind and body.
Here is a few ways to deal with stress:
- Indulge in physical activity
- Learn to say no – stop overcommitting yourself
- Manage your time – Realistically speaking the to do list could go on for months. Accept that you can not do everything at once and start to prioritize your tasks in to order of urgency.
- Keep a stress diary or talk to someone – This will allow you to put your problems into perspective, become more aware of the situations that causes you to stress out and find solutions to these problems.
- Relaxation techniques – There are so many different techniques out there, try a few and see what works for you
- Sleep – It’s important to try and not rely on medication, your aim should be to maximise your relaxation efforts before going to sleep.
- Your bedroom should be peaceful with no reminders of the things that causes you to stress
- Avoid caffeine during the evening
- Stop working several hours before you go to sleep to give yourself enough time to try and switch off
- Have a warm bath
- Read a book
- Deep breathing and some light stretching
Your task this week – is to remove yourself from any situation that brings you stress