Stress is the body’s physical, mental and emotional response to dealing with change, challenge or uncertainty.
It can manifest in different ways in different people.
There are over 40 commons signs of stress from irritability, to lack of sleep.
And sadly, it’s a common part of our lifestyles.
In the past year, 74 per cent of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope according to Mental Health Foundation.
While it’s important to remember that stress is a normal and important signal in the body, unresolved worry can be detrimental to your health.
For this reason, Tania Diggory, founder and director of Calmer has put together her tips for tackling stress to mark National Stress Awareness Day on 6th November.
1.Recognise your personal symptoms of stress
This can vary from physical signs like having a “knot in your stomach”, shaking, sweating, heart palpitations, aches or pains. Plus, there are psychological signs such as fatigue, lack in concentration, low moods and detachment from work and relationships. Identifying your symptoms and circumstances is the first step to managing stress levels.
2.Nurture your mental health by talking about how you feel
We generally feel at ease talking about our physical health. However, when it comes to talking about our mental health, it’s something we often we find difficult to share. Considering that poor mental health can develop from long-term, unresolved stress, it’s important to recognise that we’re all human and all have ups and downs. So, let’s start the conversation today by asking one another, “How are you feeling today?”
3.Create a self-care plan
This helps you to boost your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. By focusing on what brings you happiness, a feeling of comfort and a sense of centredness – and creating pockets of time for yourself to enjoy this state – this is a simple and positive step to improving your wellbeing and in turn, reducing stress levels.
4.Practice conscious breathing techniques
Stress can make an appearance at inopportune moments, so if it strikes try breathing exercises. This can help to reduce stress levels by increasing oxygen exchange which in turn reduces your blood pressure, calms down your nervous system, and releases tension in the body. These physical changes also benefit your mental state. By concentrating on your breath can bring you into the present moment, in a state of mindfulness.
Exercise doesn’t just improve your physical health it can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing. Scientific studies prove this, and according to the NHS, physical activity can reduce feelings of depression or anxiety, positively change our mood, and boost our self-esteem. Doing something physical increases our levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, hormones that helps us to feel happy, and in turn this reduces the release of cortisol in the brain, the primary stress hormone.