Do you feel aches and pains for no apparent reason? Does your head feel like you are in a permanent fog, and you can’t see ‘the wood for the trees? Do you feel irritable with everyone around you? You just feel tired and listless all the time. Carol a 46 year old woman and a mother of two children in their teen years, was feeling all of these things and she complained about not getting her work and chores done at home or at work, she noticed that she was feeling more and more tired and her creativity was non-existent due to an inability to concentrate. She was suffering from insomnia which led to feelings of anxiety and depression. If you like carol, are experiencing any of these symptoms, then maybe you are suffering from stress.
“I am feeling so stressed out”, is a common expression we hear everyone saying in this global economic climate. People all over the world are crying out how stressed they are feeling, due to the terrain of negative effects from financial responsibilities and burdens.
Stress is something that we will all experience throughout our lifespan from infancy to our retirement years. Examples of these:- During the infant years total dependency for their basic needs, a young child learning to dress themselves or overcoming developmental fears. As a child progresses, a child between 6-12 years old who may have learning difficulties, or is experiencing peer pressures for example making friends and maintaining them or is at risk of sexual abuse. At the onset of the adolescent years, stress continues to impact the in various forms – they have issues with gaining their independence and carving out their own identity as well as peer pressure where some even feel depressed or suicidal. As we go through the stage of embarking on becoming adults, other stressors are inevitable during this major transitional time. Some of these stressor could be securing a job, or making the decision to go on to university, relationship problems, getting married or not, professional advancement in your chosen career. As we move towards middle adulthood between 40 – 65 years old then other challenges begin to manifest, such as problems with adolescent children, health problems, unemployment and having to take responsibility for the care of elderly parents.
So how can Carol cope with her level of stress? What can you do to cope with your stress? Well here are a seven nuggets to chew on and hopefully you will benefit from the relief of this human malady we call stress.
Get as much sleep as you can, get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. There are many benefits of sleep, here are some of them:- it enhances your memory and alertness, it produces growth hormones and balances the hormones, repairs damaged skin, reduces inflammation, help to control your appetite resulting in weight loss.
Water – Stress leads to dehydration, increases fatigue, headaches, nausea and your heart rate (e.g.: tachycardia). Drinking water helps with concentration, regulates body temperature and improves your immune system. Hydrotherapy is calming remedy for stress – take a warm bath it aids in muscle relaxation and reduces tension.
Regular exercise is essential to combat stress it releases endorphins which help to reduce stress levels and make you feel happy. Reduces tension, anxiety and depression, decreases feelings of chronic fatigue and tiredness. It will increase blood circulation to the brain and hence you will benefit from mental alertness.
Take time out to relax this could be a massage or just having an afternoon siesta, you will reduce muscle tension. Take time to take a breath deeply, it is good custom to practice deep breathing by completing a session of at least 20 breaths; this will bath the body’s cells with a supply of oxygen. You may repeat to yourself, “ I am calm and relaxed”. Saying words will help to deep this state of relaxation.
A healthy diet is very important in combating the effects of stress. Eat foods high in antioxidants to increase a healthy immune system. Raw foods are rich in this source. Food rich in vitamin B help maintain balance within the nervous system. Reduce your intake of caffeine, salt, sugar and spices.
Believe in yourself, think of yourself in positive ways daily, start by reading good books that encourage and inspire you, this will help to reduce the negative ‘chatter box’ and the volume will be lowered, and before you know it that negative tape recorder will be replace with new positive thought that breathe life into you.
Inspiration: For some they draw strength from prayer, meditation, family time, recreation, a pet, connecting with nature. Find something that feeds you spiritually and gives you a sense of inner peace, courage and a zest for living your life to the full.
Author: Angela Sterling-Noel, (MBACP, MACC)
Trainer, Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, NLP Practitioner, Life Coach www.enamouruk.com