Stress is the emotional and physiological (body) feeling that happens when our experience of a physical or emotional challenge outweighs our physical or emotional resources to deal with it. A small amount of stress can be helpful in acute situations where we need our bodies and minds to be as productive and switched on as possible, as the additional adrenaline can help us to work quicker, or perform better. Too much stress, or stress on a regular basis though can cause real problems though.
Our resources to deal with acute (short term) and chronic (long term) stress are affected by both our physical resources: how well rested we are and whether we have the right energy from our nutrition, as well as our emotional resources: whether we perceive the threat to be beyond our ability to cope.
The experience of stress can affect the chemicals and hormones in our bodies and this can cause a variety of physical symptoms including a faster heartbeat, sense of fatigue, interruption with sleep, headaches, and nervousness about situations.
If we continue to experience stress beyond our resources, these physical feelings can leave us drained and low and we are more at risk of it affecting our mental health.
So what can i do?
There are a number of ways to try and manage stress, and all are based on our ability to improve and top up both our physical and emotional resources:
1) look at whether you are eating the right things to give your body the best nutrients you need to protect your immune system and fight the negative effects of stress on our bodies. Click HERE to find out more
2) Sleep is the bodies way of processing new experiences, and restoring the energy that we need to face another day. Find out more tips on getting better sleep HERE
3) Trying to find different ways of looking at a situation can help to change the impact of our thoughts on our emotional and physical feelings. Find out more information on the impact of your thoughts HERE
4) Learning techniques to help reduce your physical symptoms like raised heart rate and sweaty palms, can also help to reduce your stress. Learn a breathing technique that reduces your muscle tension HERE