Its National Stress Awareness month, so we in CanDo Lettings have put together a few key points about stress and our top tips for coping with it.
Stress can affect everyone at some point in our lives. Some people thrive off stress and others are not able to cope with it. Stress is not always a bad thing to experience. In fact, as humans we wouldn’t be able to survive without it.
Fight or Flight? When we feel we are coming under attack, our body releases hormones which prepare our body for action. Blood flow increases through the use of our muscles, limiting the amount of flow to the brain which decreases our ability to think straight. This can become detrimental to our health, especially if we are in a continuous state of stress.
Stress isn’t a mental health issue, however it can be a contributing factor to the development of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The earlier you are able to recognise stress, the better you would be able to help manage it so it does not start to affect your health, home or working life. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for;
- Constantly worrying
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Frequent colds
- Memory problems
- Brian Fog
- Inability to concentrate
- Sleeping too much, or not sleeping enough
- Increase in alcohol, cigarettes
- Eating too much or too little.
Stress affects everyone in different ways, so not everyone will experience all of those symptoms at any one point. We are unable to remove stress from our lives, however there are useful ways of dealing with it.
Top tips for dealing with stress;
- Mindfulness – This is a form of meditation which you can do daily, it allows you to take the time to stop and be present in the moment.. Samye Foundation Wales based in Canton, offer courses and retreats allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge to become more mindful. For more information please visit – https://www.sfwales.org/mindfulness/
- Be Active – Doing physical activity has been proven to help reduce stress. It releases ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins into the body which can help with stress and building up self-esteem. This can be as little as going for a walk or run/jog around the park. Park Run is a great 5k running or walking event which is held every Saturday morning 9:00am at Blackweir in Cardiff. The great thing about it is its FREE! http://www.parkrun.org.uk/cardiff/
- Think positive – (Easier said than done) and banish our inner critic – We all have our inner critic telling us ‘we aren’t good enough’ or ‘ you can’t do that’. Most of us don’t realise it’s there, however being able to recognise our inner critic is the first step to changing this. Start to change your thought process by saying positive things out loud several times a day.
- Eat right! – Foods can help combat the feeling of stress. Increasing your vitamin B intake – Vitamin B can be found in food such as; Bananas, carrots, peas, spinach, avocados, cabbage, brown rice, mushrooms, nuts, rye flour.
White spots on your nails does not necessarily mean a lack of calcium. It can also mean deficiency in Zinc. When you are stressed, your body uses more Zinc than usual so to prevent this you can increase your intake of foods such as; Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts.
Constipation and Diarrhoea – you can suffer with both of these during times of stress – Magnesium can help support the body’s immune system. Increase foods such as; Buckwheat, nuts, sweet potato, sesame seeds, cauliflower
Learn to say NO! Taking on too much can lead to you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and unmotivated. Saying ‘No’ is not being selfish, it is being responsible and listening to your gut feelings.