Today is International Stress Awareness day and most current research agrees that stress is now one of the leading influences in mental health issues and chronic illness.
Stress has a direct physiological response in our body whether it’s psychological or physical and this triggers a cascade of hormonal activity and activates our ‘fight or flight’ response. This prompts our body to over-produce the stress hormone cortisol which can have a damaging effect over time.
It’s important therefore to find ways to work with stress and make time to relax and restore ourselves. Stress can be helpful or harmful depending on how well we tolerate it and our resilience to stress can determine it’s impact on our health. Simple measures such as taking regular breaks at work, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, taking a short walk, and managing work-life balance by finding time to relax and unwind can help shift the balance.
Nutrition can also play a part and certain nutrients and herbs have been shown to help support the stress response and balance hormones. This helps support the physiological response to stress and can boost your immune function and resilience in the short-term but, if the stress is still present the body will keep reacting.
If nothing else, awareness day make us stop and think. How well are you handling the daily stresses in your life?
What more could you do?