Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension, resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Stress is a big part of our lives. Some stress and pressure can actually be positive. For most of my clients though, prolonged stress leads to overwhelm and prevents them from feeling their best.
Do you often feel:
- On edge
- Tightness in your chest
- Out of control with food
- Unable to concentrate
These are signs of prolonged stress. And I’ve felt them all.
It’s normal to feel stressed for short bursts, but then we should return back to a relaxed state. These days we pack our schedules full and take on more than we can handle. And as a result, we stay in a stressed state for longer periods of time.
Put your hand up if rest and self-care is the first thing to drop off your plate when you‘re busy? I know that can be the case with me.
We make time for what’s important to us. So, my question is: What’s important to you?
1. Make time for regular exercise
Did you know, regular exercise can help reduce stress?
Exercise increases endorphins, which are a ‘feel good’ chemical, and reduces cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This is why you often walk away from a workout feeling amazing.
Regular exercise can also build up mental resilience – something that will help you deal with future stressors more effectively.
How do you feel after exercise?
2. Reduce your caffeine intake
There is research available to show coffee can be beneficial for some health conditions. Today though, I’d like to examine its effects on stress and anxiety.
The caffeine in your coffee doesn’t actually give you energy. Instead, it causes your body to produce stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline. It triggers your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response.
Caffeine is a bowel stimulant. So, if your stress/anxiety already has you running to the toilet, you might want to rethink your daily coffee. It also spikes your blood pressure and heart rate.