Stress is such a common part of life these days that we can too easily become complacent about it – but don’t let it take control. Find out how to take charge and boot stress out of your life
Stress is often known as the silent killer.
When we are under stress, we are often completely oblivious to the full effects this is having on our body.
With today’s busy lifestyles, more and more of us are being affected.
But help is at hand! There is much we can do ourselves to take control of stress. It is vital that we don’t just put up with it in silence.
Stress can have a negative impact on all areas of our health – mental and physical, including causing:
- trouble sleeping
- stomach problems
- lack of energy
- poor concentration
- troubling emotions, such as anger, sadness, irritability, anxiety
- skin problems
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- neck and back pain.
It can also impact on a woman’s ability to become pregnant – here at the Alma Vale Centre we specialise in women’s health and fertility, so there are many treatments we offer that can help with this.
For those of us who are working, stress has become far more commonplace, particularly given today’s economic climate. A recent survey by the International Stress Management Association found that 94% of workers were suffering from stress – yet less than one in three felt able to speak with their manager about it.
Top tips for managing stress
Make time to relax
Find out what works best for you. It could be taking a long bath, reading, going to the cinema, listening to chilled music. Many find practising meditation can help. For others having a massage or doing yoga (will soothe away any stress – both of which you can take up at the Alma Vale Centre!
Manage your time
Stress is often triggered by trying to cram too much into our already busy diaries. An inability to say no to people is a classic cause of pushing us into the stress zone. But by taking on too many things, we often then neglect to block out the all-important time just for ourselves. As the mantra goes, if we don’t look after ourselves, we will be of no good to anyone! So make sure you build in a good chunk of time every day just for you.
We all know that food can have such a big impact on our wellbeing. But when we are stressed, the tendency is to reach for ‘comfort’ food, or fast-food to save us time. Both of these will so often just give us a temporary rush, then leaving us sluggish, irritable, and lacking energy. So instead of reaching for caffeine, plan in better eating by fuelling up throughout the day with fruit, veg, and good protein. See our website for recipe ideas, and other food advice to help you take more control of how you use food to help you feel better not worse in times of stress.
We all know how keeping fit can have such a good impact on our health and wellbeing, but at times of high stress, exercise is often the activity that we neglect the most. So make sure you plan in plenty of time to keep active – even if this is just a walk in your lunch-hour. This will get the endorphins going to boost your mood, as well as release tension in tight muscles. Prioritise exercise even more at times of stress to help your body better cope.
Get good sleep
Sleep is our body’s way of refuelling and replenishing us ready for the new day. Many also believe that dreams are our body’s way of getting rid of problems from our minds, dumping things out of our brains that have been causing us stress and worry. So at times of stress, good sleep is more important than ever. Aromatherapy (www.almavalecentre.co.uk/aromatherapy) can be a great way to help you relax and be ready for sleep. Hypnotherapy is another treatment known to have good success with improving your sleep, if you hit a particularly bad spell – find out more about how our hypnotherapists can work to help you with this.
Value your friends
Friends are so important to our lives, and never more so than to help us stay grounded, well and better at managing stress. Friends can be such good listeners, doing so without judging us. When they know us well, they can be perfectly placed to help us hear the things we might have been trying to avoid. They can often give us a different point of view that is all we needed to overcome a problem that seemed insurmountable. So make time for your friends – and to be there for times when they hit stress too!
Seek professional help
Sometimes talking to friends is not enough, and we need a more objective approach from a skilled professional. Here at the Alma Vale Centre we have counsellors who specialise in helping you manage stress, as well as hypnotherapists, who also work in this area, for example with helping improve your sleep.
Treatments that can help
Many of the treatments on offer at the Alma Vale Centre can be a great way for you to reduce and better manage stress in your life. We have already seen how our massage therapies can be of help, as well as counsellors and hypnotherapists.Acupuncture is another successful treatment for dealing with stress. Research has shown how acupuncture can have a big impact on reducing anxiety. It can also help with back and neck pain.
Acupuncture treatment aims to stimulate the nervous system in a way that will improve our physical and emotional wellbeing – the British Acupuncture Council sets out more about how this is achieved.