Most of us can say we have been stressed at some point in our lives.
My Mum used to say to me all the time that being stressed will make me sick. I was young and considered myself invincible.
14 years later and I wholeheartedly agree that stress can 100% make you sick.
After educating myself on the link between stress and ill health, I was on a mission to find simple self-care techniques to reduce stress.
What happens to our bodies when we are stressed
When we are stressed, it does affect our bodies and in so many different ways.
When we are continually stressed it begins to negatively impact our bodies. When we are consistently stressed it can cause or contribute to:
- Headaches – When you are stressed it can lead to headaches and increased intensity of headaches.
- Insomnia – Being stressed can make it harder to fall asleep. Once you are asleep stress can make it harder to stay asleep.
- Weakened immune system – constant stress can actually weaken your immune system. This in turn makes you vulnerable to infections.
- Fertility problems – Stress in both men and women can interfere with the reproductive system which can make it harder to conceive.
- Skin and hair issues – Constant stress can make your hair dry and brittle and can even lead to hair loss. You might also have brittle nails, dry skin or an increase of acne.
- Gut Health – Chronic stress can also affect your digestive system. It can lead to stomach aches, nausea and other stomach issues.
5 easy self-care ideas to help reduce stress
When you walk it has been scientifically proven to eliminate cortisol (the stress hormone) It also promotes the release of endorphins which relaxes and improves our mood. Walking outdoors in particular helps us to switch off from our stresses and clear our heads.
2. Getting out into nature
Maybe it is going for a walk outside, getting into the garden, going to the beach or simply just having a cup of tea in your garden. Whatever getting out into nature means for you, trust me in saying you will come back feeling less stressed. Studies have shown that spending time in nature is an antidote for stress.
3. 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique –
I stumbled upon this technique, and it works well to bring your focus back to the present moment. This grounding technique is designed to ease your state of mind so that you can get through those stressful moments. Especially when your mind is racing through a million and one thoughts.
This exercise uses your five senses to focus on the moment.
5 things you can see
4 things you can feel
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
This can be a tricky one, especially if being stressed is impacting your ability to get a good night’s rest. But a lack of sleep can also result in higher stress levels. Sleep plays a major part in our health and wellbeing, so practicing healthy sleep habits is essential. Ideally seven to eight hours each night is ideal. Try unwinding and switching off at least an hour before bed to help. Turn off screens and avoid caffeinated drinks. You can also try listening to relaxing music to help you to fall asleep.
This is one of my personal tips which works for me. Choose one area of your home which needs a declutter. not only can a tidier space make you feel more relaxed, but you walk away with a sense of accomplishment.
Until next time,
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