Many of us lead stressful lives, and stress factors can be external, such as work pressures, family, travel, or internal, such as anxiety, poor diet, nutrient depletion or lack of sleep. Over time prolonged stress without the necessary recovery can cause significant physical and mental issues and can even lead to burn out, when we feel we can’t continue.
Of course the simplest way to deal with stress would be to remove the stressing factor from our lives, but often that’s simply not a viable option. What we can do is to acknowledge that we are stressed and start to learn some effective coping strategies and recovery strategies for lessening the impact of that stress on our lives.
Often we can be so caught up in the stress of the situation it can be hard to see a way out or even identify a starting point, the first step is to take a deep breath, simply acknowledge that yes, you feel stressed, then make a decision to act on it positively to decrease its impact.
That’s why although exercise is very effective as a stress release mechanism, if the body is already stressed, care has to be taken not to exacerbate cortisol levels through intensive exercise.
Exercise like gentle yoga or Pilates can be soothing to the body, allowing a release of nervous energy, while not overtaxing, and by taking the mind to the body and being aware in your practice you can help still the mind, something that’s really important for reducing stress.
Looking at your diet is also important, we have our nutritionist analyse your diet and guide you on avoiding foods or ways of eating that create stress in the body, at the same time as providing core nutrients that can be depleted as a result of long periods of stress; this can help improve body composition, energy levels, immune function, sleep quality and digestion.
Meditation sessions help still the mind, which is really important, even giving yourself 10 minutes a day, just for you, to try to empty your mind and sit quietly can greatly help in dealing with stress.
Of course coping strategies are important, for dealing with underlying issues, or those curve balls life likes to throw at us, so we recommend Life Coaching sessions to deal with the causes of the stress and help you overcome them.
Kelly of 38 Degrees North