Stress is one of those things that you perhaps you don’t realize has become part of your life. It has this strange habit of sneeking in and only when you look back or consider certain things, do you realize that perhaps you have been putting yourself under stress. We know stress is bad for us. It will elevate your adrenalin and cortisone levels and eventually it depletes your vitamin B levels and minerals (especially magnesium and zinc) and DHEA.
How do you know if you are stressed out? Here is a mini quiz you can ask yourself:
– Do you have difficulty relaxing? Switching off? Focusing on doing nothing, like breathing or meditation?
– Do you get irritated easily? Short-tempered? Agitated?
– Do you worry about events of your day and play them over and over in your mind, hoping for a solution? Do you worry that they aren’t going to work out? Do you struggle to just STOP your mind from playing the same record?
– Do you find it hard to relate to others? Do you judge people too easily and place them in boxes, without considering their side of the story? Is your judgement your own fear or insecurity playing on you?
– Do you eat quickly?
– Do you promise too much and then wonder how you are going to cope? Do you struggle to delegate and ask others for help?
– Do you have aching limbs or recurrent headaches?
– Are your muscles tense?
– Do you have problems sleeping?
– Do you chew your nails, play with your hair incessantly? Grind your teeth? Any habits you do over and over again?
– Do you overthink? Over process things? Over analyze?
– Do you get anxious about things and worry on a constant basis?
Did you answer YES to more than 5 of these? Chances are your body is telling you it is stressed out.
So, now what? How can you alleviate the stress levels you are experiencing?
- Find something that allows you to tune all that stuff out! Find something you enjoy doing, that is not work related that de-stresses you at the same time. Take up dancing, painting, pottery or walking. Whatever you enjoy and do it regularly to allow you to mentally get away from all that stuff.
- Find relaxation techniques that work for you. I love my yoga and dancing but some people like meditation, walking or just sitting in one place and breathing properly. You need to find your personal relaxation technique that you can slip into easily, and do for at least 10 minutes a day. I love just sitting in the sun with my bare feet touching the grass. I feel at one with the earth and myself and a sense of calm comes over me in an instant.
- Find supplements to calm you down. Passionflower and even kava are great for relaxing us. Kava is quite powerful and can alleviate severe cases of anxiety. Another one to relieve emotional stress is St John’s Wort. Don’t use with the contraceptive pill as it makes it ineffective as a form of protection. There are also wonderful oils like clove oil, sandalwood and geranium, which will make you feel calmer and happier.
- Sleep better. Sleep is the time when your mind processes things and works through stuff, both emotionally and physically. When you don’t sleep properly, you compound the effects of stress. Take some soothing sleeping aids like melatonin or passionflower. Avoid taking chamomile or hops on a regular basis as they are estrogenic and not ideal for endometriosis for this reason.
- Cut out stimulants. I know it is easy to run on adrenalin when you are tired. You might drink coffee, eat chocolate or live on soft drinks. Unfortunately, these will just stimulate the adrenal glands further and make you more stressed out than you need to be. Sugar has a similar effect. So, it is best to find better alternatives. Siberian ginseng will give you the great boosting benefits of coffee and has no known side effects. It supports the immune system at the same time too!
Stress and more importantly the elevated adrenalin and cortisone in your body will create a domino effect on all the other hormones in your body. Eventually, an imbalance will form and this could affect your thyroid function, your endocrine function and all the other hormones controlling everything from your ovaries to your brain function.
Have you noticed that you are stressed out? Do you get anxiety attacks? Do you get panicky for no apparent reason?
I always tell myself, “It will all be okay” and “things will all work out” and somehow just saying that over and over again seems to help heaps!