Stress can be caused by many sources, including lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overworking, and overstimulation. It's essential to be aware of the effects it has on you both physically and psychologically.
Stress is a normal part of everyday life and something we all experience, but too much can harm the body and mind
Common Causes of Stress
- Lack of sleep
- Poor nutrition
- Disconnection from nature
- Limited physical movement
- Over-stimulation (phones, apps)
- Attachment to news & social media
- Over-working & blurring of work/life
- Overuse of stimulants (coffee, alcohol)
If left unchecked, stress can lead to a number of issues. But fear not! Take some time out, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and discover our favourite ways to combat stress.
The good news is that you don't have to suffer from constant stress and anxiety, and there are several ways to regain control.
Where does Stress Come From?
Humans are programmed to deal with genuine threats (animals chasing us, attacks, low levels of nutrition). However, the brain and nervous system often have problems distinguishing between real and perceived threats.
Stress is Caused by Fear
Usually our fears are not real risks to our existence, and our mind creates a narrative around the perceived threat we believe to be true. This creates a cycle of damaging and sometimes debilitating stress.
The Central Nervous System
SNS activates the fight, flight or freeze response.
PNS triggers the rest and digest response.
The Two Types of Stress
Acute Stress is initiated by one or a series of extreme events.
Chronic Stress is caused by excessive exposure to daily stressors.
Acute Stress Responses
- Increased heart rate and respiration
- Elevated blood pressure
- Muscle constriction
- Tunnel vision
When the threat is gone, the body usually takes up to an hour to return to normal levels.
Chronic Stress Responses
- Reduced function of the immune system
- Delayed wound healing
- Breathing difficulties
- Digestive problems
- Sleep disorders
Stress is Natural
As we mentioned earlier, Stress responses are programmed into us as human beings for survival and evolution. That being said, sometimes the amount of stimuli we are exposed to becomes too much to deal with. Fortunately, we can effectively heal ourselves from the effects of stress.
10 Ways to Combat Stress
Mindfulness and Awareness
Tune into How Your Body Feels.
Pay attention to your body's sensations.
Take note of how stress impacts you and any changes you notice.
Try Dr Andrew Huberman's
'Psychological Sigh'. This technique is an easy way to ease stress through your breath:
Take two short inhalations through the nose.
Release via a long exhale through the mouth.
Repeat one to three times.
Connect with Friends and Loved Ones
Spark up a meaningful conversation with someone close to you. Maintain eye contact and talk through how you're feeling. Importantly, you can also learn how to help the person you're communicating with deal with their own personal stresses!
Move Your Body
Exercise helps your cells to renew themselves, and send the right signals and at the same time. Other positive effects of exercise are:
- Increased self-confidence
- Improved sleep
- Enhanced mood
- Reduced anxiety
Lie back and imagine your body slowly sinking into the earth's warm embrace.
Your breath is the filter for your stressors.
You fill your body and mind with fresh energy as you breathe in.
As you exhale, you release your body and mind's dark and stagnant energy.
Guide your mind towards a more positive direction by using all of your five senses. Go outside, hear the birds, smell the flowers, and "ground" yourself while activating the vagus nerve.
Our brains are designed to come up with ideas, not store them. Create mental space by writing down what's on your mind. Daily reflection is a great way to re-take control of your life and sharpen your memory.
Going for a walk is a valuable way to rebalance your mind. But leave your problems behind. Focus on every step you take and enjoy breathing in the fresh air. Try to remain fully present throughout the walk and come back completely refreshed.
So you struggle with stress? Most people do. Work on forgiving yourself and focus on building the life you deserve.
Other people stressing you out? Most of the time they are unaware, and usually they are struggling with their own stressors
Reduce Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields
confirm a link between high amounts of EMF radiation exposure and negative psychiatric symptoms in humans and animals.
Try to cut down on your exposure to the various types of radiation in the following ways:
- Don’t sit or linger near appliances.
- Put your phone down.
- Use the speaker function or earbuds with your phone.
- Don’t carry your phone in a pocket.
- Unplug occasionally from electronic devices and electricity.
Remember, caring for yourself is essential for a happy and healthy life. Practice these simple techniques to minimise the impact of stress on your life and take control of your mental and physical well-being.
Stay healthy and happy!
About the Author
Nathan Carter has been a highly qualified health and fitness professional for the past twenty years. Educated at the University of Bath, Nathan has been on a path of professional and personal development ever since, helping thousands of clients to achieve their health and wellness goals. He has hundreds of published articles in both printed and online media.