From time to time all of us can feel a little stressed, miserable on edge or anxious. Whilst this may be normal for you, it doesn’t mean you need to accept it as part of your life or feel you can’t do anything about it. In fact, long-term stress can lead to depression, health complications, weight loss or gain, sleep problems, skin ailments and other conditions. This means it’s important to recognise when you might have an abundance of stress and give yourself a break by looking for a path to recovery that suits you.
A survey revealed that patients seeking help for stress-related problems are increasing in Doctors’ Surgeries. The same survey revealed that more people are drinking alcohol regularly and blaming it on their stress levels. GPs also noted that they are making more psychiatric referrals than they were before. In addition to this, work-related stress in Europe is rising and represents a significant ill health condition in the general workforce. All these facts reveal that more people are being weighed down by stress and are finding it difficult to cope with it, so it continues to have a negative impact on our health and communities as a whole.
The Stress And Gut Health Connection
Whilst stress and anxiety can have an effect on your mental well-being, it can also have an impact on your physical health too. While looking for the causes of why you are feeling stressed out, it is also worthwhile taking a look at your gut health. Not eating enough, eating too much or perhaps not eating the right foods can have an impact on our stress, blood sugar and nutrient levels. For example, if your diet is low in the complex range of B vitamins, it can cause anxiety and a general feeling of being on edge.
It is always best to think about how you can improve your health and diet through food rather than a vitamin pill because although they might be easy to take, they are often a synthetic imitation and don’t include the other minerals, plant Polyphenols, micronutrients with antioxidant benefits that real whole foods can bring. Examples of foods to increase in order to gain more natural B vitamins are fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and animal products such as liver, green vegetables, milk, yoghurt, cheese, eggs, fish and shellfish.
A healthy balance of foods will help you manage your stress and anxiety from the inside out, which means a diet low in processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, high-glycemic and trans fats foods, and high in antioxidants, fibre, whole foods, water, healthy fats and the essential nutrients we need. This will help you balance blood sugar, get the right nutrients and reduce your stress levels. The added benefits will be better health, improved sleep, more energy and better moods.
The Stress And Toxic Relationships Connection
The relationships that we have with those around us can have a huge impact on our well-being and particularly how stressed or anxious we feel. The thing to focus on is understanding the difference between those relationships that are toxic and those that are good for you, maybe just a little challenging from time to time.
If a relationship with a partner, a friend or a family member is making you feel more anxious and stressed out than it should, then perhaps it is time to reflect on how you can manage that particular connection. In other words, try to find ways of managing your time with them and the boundaries you have in your relationship.
Toxic people can have a significant impact on our health and over time can make us ill, so it is essential to consider if you have this type of relationship in your life. The important thing to remember is to forgive them for who they are and understand it’s not their fault. It’s how they’ve been programmed through their own upbringing and relationships. However, they do have a duty to try to change and you do have a duty to protect yourself and their toxic influence on you and your health and wellbeing.
If you are concerned about this or are unable to think of a way to deal with a negative relationship, seek advice and support from someone who can guide you towards a successful solution.
Stress Management And Finding A Way To Release The Pressure
Stress can build up little by little over time and lead to a pressure cooker effect that can explode leaving you feeling ill, angry or depressed. There are a variety of ways you can try to release the stress from the pressure cooker that’s building up.
Gentle exercise is a great way of reducing your anxiety by generating the feel-good pleasure hormone dopamine, while also keeping the stress hormone Cortisol (our stress ‘fight or flight’ hormone) low.
Acupressure, Mindfulness, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), yoga and deep breathing are also great ways of reducing stress levels naturally. As is meditation, which encourages you to focus your mind and breathing in unison, leaving you feeling relaxed and less anxious.
Take Time Out For You At A Retreat
So often we feel stressed but we don’t take time out of our busy schedules for a bit of ‘me time’. This is why it is good to invest in an activity or experience retreat that interests you. By committing to something financially you will feel compelled to attend even if you have second thoughts. But research shows us attending a retreat can be great to develop personal skills, make friends and feel the support of a new community of like-minded souls. We definitely recommend attending at least one retreat a year and here’s why.
Stress is something we all feel and in small doses, it is entirely normal and our bodies are built to withstand it. However, the problem occurs when stress is left to build up and is not helped to exit the body and mind with good nutrition, exercise and pressured eliminating strategies. Therefore, if chronic stress is left unchecked it can have a huge impact on how you feel mentally and physically, and this will affect every aspect of your working and personal life.
If you would like help to identify and tackle your anxiety or stress, find ways to cope with everything life has to throw at you and improve your general happiness levels, sign up to learn more about the Zero to Zest program.