We all experience different levels of stress within our lives, and there are lots of things that can trigger these feelings.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is our body’s reaction to feeling under threat. In moments of stress our body releases hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol – making us more alert – our heart rate beats faster, our blood pressure increases, sugars are released into our blood and our digestion switches off. This response was developed right back in our caveman days – a life-saving response to very real danger – enabling us to outrun whatever was putting us under immediate threat. Once the danger passes, our bodies then release other hormones to relax us, this can sometimes cause us to shake. This flight-or-fight response was designed to kick in when needed, but in short bursts. As our society has developed, and we no longer have to worry about having to outrun animals, our evolutionary bodies haven’t quite distinguished what level of threat we are under.
CONSTANTLY IN A STRESS STATE
Stress can come in lots of different forms, these can start as soon as our alarm clock wakes us up – jolting us out of our deep slumber – to the sound of a very harsh wake up call. Once we open our eyes, we might reach for our phone and maybe look at our emails or what is going on in the news (all of which is stressful). Then we’ve got to get to school, or work, or get the kids ready. You might spill something in the kitchen, which makes you late. You can see how quickly these micro stresses build up – and that’s before we even get to work or school or have to deal with any tricky people who may cross your path. These micro stresses can mean our bodies are remaining in a state of constant stress, which can have a significant impact on our health.
A STRESS EPIDEMIC
Stress was labelled as the “health epidemic of the 21st Century” by the World Health Organisation (WHO). On top of everyday micro doses of stress, stress also can be the result of larger issues including; relationship problems, work issues, family life, illness, money worries – these stresses can affect every single part of our life. This month is Stress Awareness Month, and we want to encourage you to develop some healthy habits to ensure your stress levels are kept to a minimum, especially if you have some stresses in your life that are out of your control.
EAT MOVE LOVE TO LOWER YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Eating well, exercising more and developing connections all can play a vital role in keeping our stress levels down. We’d love you to join in our 30 day Eat Move Love challenge – follow us on Instagram Stories for some simple daily prompts for some actionable habits you can incorporate into your life. You can also sign up to our Eat Move Love weekly email for 10 weeks, sign up here. For some additional stress busting ideas, head over to our Library of Calm – a space created for you to find a little bit of calm in our often chaotic lives.
If you are struggling and need to talk, know that you are not alone, text HECTOR to 85258. Stress can be overwhelming, and talking it through will help.