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How to Cope With the Physical Side of Stress

When we are stressed it is not only our minds that feel the impact, but our bodies too. When you are going through an anxious period in your life, you may start to experience a whole host of physical symptoms like headaches, backache and an upset stomach. On top of our initial worries, we start to become anxious about these physical symptoms and trigger a vicious cycle which can lead to chronic pain throughout the body. There are a number of things you can do alleviate the physical symptoms of stress and restore a feeling of calm.

Natural Remedies

teaImage from Flickr

Taking natural remedies such as fish oils, sensi seeds or vitamin D can help alleviate pain throughout your body. However, it is important that you speak to your doctor before taking any natural remedies. Drinking peppermint or fennel tea will help soothe an upset stomach and chamomile tea will help your body relax and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. A massage may help relieve back pain and tight muscles.

Exercise

yogaImage from Flickr

Taking part in regular exercise will help you manage your stress. While you exercise an increased amount of endorphins are produced in your brain that will improve your mood, focus your attention and help you to sleep. As little as thirty minutes exercise a day can make a huge difference. There are no rules on what form of exercise you should do. You could try walking instead of taking transport to work, for an easy way to include exercise into your day. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for dealing with stress as it targets your body through stretching and your mind through breathing. You can start yoga at any age or level of fitness as it can be adapted to suit everyone.

Breathing

controlled-breathingImage from Flickr

Controlled breathing is a good way to deal with particularly stressful moments during your day. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to slow your breathing down. Take a deep breath through your nose for a count of five, hold for a count of two and then exhale through your mouth for a count of seven. Repeat this four or five times and your breathing should have slowed down. Try practicing this every day so that it becomes a useful tool to use in times of stress or to help you sleep.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation work at steering your mind away from worries and into the here and now. Both techniques take time and discipline to master, but you will see significant results if you stick at it. It is recommended that you do at least twenty minutes of meditation a day, all at once or in two sessions of ten minutes. There are a number of different techniques for meditation so find the one that works best for you. As a start, close your eyes and think of a word, something that does not have too many connotations for you, and repeat this slowly in your head, not out loud. Your mind will naturally start to wonder but just gently focus your attention back to this word. You can also incorporate mindfulness into some daily routines. While walking focus your attention on the sounds, smells and sights around you.

About Shane Marker