Stats from Mental Health Foundation show that almost three quarters (74%) of adults have at some point over the past year felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope!
We are all born with an instinctive stress response. Stress causes physical changes in the body which helps us deal with any potentially dangerous situations that may arise. Your heart pounds, your breathing quickens, your muscles get tense and you can start to sweat. This is the “fight or flight” response.
This can be great as we are given extra strength and endurance; perfect to get us through a performance whether it be at work or a physical race/competition. However problems start to arise when we are constantly in a state of stress. Think about how you feel when you miss the bus, or are going to be late or are worrying about a deadline you need to meet. This can lead to negative emotional, behavioural and physical changes.
Have a think about your stress levels in a particular day. All the little things that start to built up over the course of a day such as waking up late, having to rush to get ready, demands from kids, friends and family and then of course there is work! All the little stresses can seem small when you look at them individually but as they build up you start to feel in a constant state of stress. When this is happening on a daily basis we are putting a lot of pressure on our body. This can be putting your health at serious risk. Prolonged stress can cause: headaches, heartburn, increased risk of a heart attack, increased depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, fertility problems in men and women and many more!
So how to we deal with stress? Here are my top tips on how to deal with everyday stresses and pressures.
1 – Practice breathing exercises. You can simply focus on your breath and try to breathe deeper and take longer breaths. Perhaps try using an app or an instructional video to help? You’ll soon start to notice your heart rate decreases naturally.
2 – Try meditation. This really helps me set up to have a positive day. Check out my blog post on why meditation can help deal with stress. https://zoerosefitness.co.uk/meditation-why-should-i-try-it/
3 – Share your problems with family or friends. Sometimes just talking about why you’re stressed can really help calm the mind.
4 – Exercise. This is a great way to feel better. However be mindful that a heavy HITT session after a really stressful day may not be the best for your body. Maybe try some low impact exercise or yoga instead. Talk to a PT if you’re not sure what to try.
5 – Ask for help. If you’re really struggling or have had something traumatic happen in your life, don’t be afraid to ask for help and get professional advice about how you can deal with stress.
6 – Prioritise sleep. Sleep is so important in keeping our body happy and healthy. If we are getting enough sleep this can greatly lower our feeling of stress.
7 – Get a good morning and bed-time routine. This is a routine that won’t leave you running late or wishing you had more time for breakfast or to have a bath before bed. Having a routine helps and knowing how long it take us to do everything will help us manage our time better and will mean we aren’t adding extra stress into our day.
8 – Take time for yourself. We spend so much of our days giving it to other people and work so make sure you have time for yourself to unwind and relax.