At times, we get so caught up in our hectic lifestyles with many deadlines to meet, work and personal pressures we end up forgetting to relax! Just stepping away for even 5 minutes from what is causing our stress levels to rise, can give us the energy we need to face the problems we are facing and workload. Stress isn’t all bad, a certain amount of stress is necessary to deal with difficult situations in all our everyday lives. However, staying in a state of high stress for a long period of time can be damaging to our health.
Stress can affect our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and how we behave or react to different situations. Headaches, tension in the neck and shoulders, poor sleep, dizziness and fatigue are all physical symptoms and can all be a result of too much stress. Stress can affect our mental state too as it releases the hormone cortisol into the bloodstream, which causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Which can result in poor concentration, worrying, uncontrollable thoughts and difficulty in making decisions. This can also trigger high emotional symptoms which can present as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, irritability and feelings of being overwhelmed. When a person is at a high state of stress this can cause them to be aggressive, avoid different situation they may not usually avoid, start drinking too much alcohol and smoking and can also become very withdrawn and isolated.
Stress is not unavoidable in the lifestyles that we lead especially during the unprecedented times, but learning to manage stress is a practicing relaxation is paramount to manage our stress levels. Energy comes from when we relax as the flow of blood increases around the body. This helps with us to feel calm and have a clearer mind which aids concentration, memory, positive thinking and decision making. When we relax our heart rate slows down which reduces our blood pressure and relieves tension in our mind and body. Relaxing help support our digestion system as we absorb essential nutrients more efficiently when we relax, which helps to fight off infections and diseases.
During our busy day it is important to schedule in a few 5 minute relaxation sessions to reduce stress levels and give yourself an energy boost. There are many ways in which you can do this; take a walk being mindful of your surroundings, keep focused on the sunshine, trees, the clouds to take your mind of everything else going on in your life. Focus on your breathing, try some meditation the website headspace.com is a handy resource. Visualisation, try to imagine a relaxing place and focus on the details.
It is also important to relax at home too. There are many ways to have a little calm in your life; listen to music, read a book, take a walk, talk to a friend, be creative, exercise, take a warm bath or whatever helps you to realise the stress from your mind and body.
Look after yourself and take time out to relax!