Merriam Webster defines stress as a state of mental tension caused by problems. In response to a stressful situation , the body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to find energy to push through the stress.
While in the short term, stress hormones are necessary to handle the situation perceived as a threat, prolonged stress can not only cause ailments like high blood pressure and irregular heart rate but can also negatively impact our immune system and mental health.
As per a latest press release by American Psychological Association, Covid-19 pandemic has caused widespread stress and trauma in the United States and Worldwide. These tough times call for more action around effective and sustainable Stress management techniques.
There are many ways to effectively manage stress levels. Some of the well known methods are discussed below:
The proverb says it all, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Studies have shown that exercise helps the body release chemicals like oxytocin and endorphins that are proven to be stress relievers. Stress reduction activities like tai-chi and progressive muscle relaxation techniques have proven to lower blood pressure, regulate the nervous system and improve the overall wellbeing. High intensity physical activities like sit ups, running etc. has not only proven to work targeted muscle groups that can promote greater physical fitness but are also effective stress relief tools that contribute to greater mental health.
It is well known that physical activity and diet are two sides of the same coin. A balanced and healthy diet can promote efficiency in physical activity, overall fitness and also equip the body for better stress responses. There has been extensive research on the effects of healthy meals on our immune system. After all, we are what we eat.
Deep breaths! Yes, Sustainable self care routines like deep breathing, breathing exercises and other breathing techniques and/or essential oil aromatherapy can alleviate the effects of stress and can also lower stress. Spending time with loved ones, seeking Social support and keeping negative thoughts at bay are also great tools for managing stress. Something as simple as making a to-do list can work wonders!
While we all experience stress in our lives at different times, how we respond to stress can be a choice we make. Tolerating or giving in to stress for prolonged periods of time can be toxic. Managing and lowering stress by making lifestyle changes and identifying the stressors can go a long way in creating a more meaningful life for us and for our community.
New Tech for Stress Relief
A new wearable device, Apollo Neuro can be worn on your wrist or your ankle. Many people find it to be most soothing on the ankle, especially during Sleep Mode. Pick from seven distinct modes designed to help you reach different goals by relaxing your body and clearing your mind. Gentle waves of vibration, scientifically proven to improve your resilience to stress and mimic the natural rhythms of your heart beat.