Stress, we all feel it. Sometimes it can be a positive force, motivating you to perform well at a job interview for instance. But, more often, when we are expecting too much from ourselves, it can be a negative force. Experiencing stress over a prolonged period can cause many different symptoms, from having issues with sleep or a short temper to more chronic symptoms such as panic attacks or depression.
Our gut is vulnerable to chronic or acute stress and we are mindful of protecting it. The brain-gut connection is anecdotally recognized as a ‘gut-feeling’, ranging from butterflies in the stomach to full on anxiety-induced nausea. Understanding the difference between tired and wired is a good place to start. When you want to relax you should be able to. If you are stressed, it’s very hard to feel anything other than wired. Listening to your body is key, if you feel tired then rest, and if you really can’t manage that then it’s good to at least find something that gives momentary respite from the stress.
We’re all busy people, with busy, demanding lives. We were surprised by how differently we all dealt with stressful situations and periods in our lives. It’s interesting how what works for one doesn’t work for all. Here are a few tips to reduce stress.
5 Ways to De-Stress
1. Be active
For some of us getting active is one of the keys to dealing with stress. For Kate during stressful periods it’s time to head outdoors and get active.
2. Have some ‘me time’
We are constantly surrounded by people, whether real or virtual, connected all the time by today’s modern technology. Sometimes we need to turn off the noise and create time to just be ourselves, doing something just for us.
3. Listen to music
Taking ourselves out of our ‘normal’ environment can often be a good antidote to stress, remember that old saying, ‘a change is as good as a rest’?
4. Calm the mind through meditation
Allowing ourselves a few minutes every day to calm our mind can be highly beneficial. For Rebecca, learning how to meditate has been really powerful.
5. A long bath
It’s true though that creating your own little haven of calm and relaxation in your bathroom is one of the quickest and easiest ways to relax. We all had different rituals, lighting candles, having Epsom salt baths, reading a good book, listening to an enthralling podcast… the list was pretty long, who knew there were so many things we all liked doing in the bathroom!
Stressing about things you cannot control do you no good, and instead, leave you in a flight or fight mode. Look to the future and set small goals, like planning the day you add a new food to your repertoire. Celebrate your small wins today, such as having a bowel movement or seeing the sunshine. A few simple changes to your daily routine might be just the ticket to dealing with any stress you are carrying.