Do you ever feel that life is becoming faster by the day or that you are feeling increasingly stressed? Well this is not just a feeling it is in fact very real. Over the last 20 years the speed of life has increased by 10-30%. Long working hours, a growing reliance on technology and need for convenience means we have simply forgotten how to slow down. Modern day life literally stresses us out, but there are many things we can do to help reduce stress.
Stress is an instinctive response that we are all born with and it wasn’t designed to be bad. In small doses it motivates us towards our goals and helps us to complete tasks more efficiently. At its core the stress response was designed to kick us into a ‘flight or fight mode’ and help us quickly survive life threatening situations. Do we stay and fight the tiger or do we run away as fast as we can?
Of course tiger attacks aren’t so much of a risk today, instead stress responses are created by every day events such as traffic jams, work pressures and rocky relationships. Every day events mean every day stress! Our bodies are in a constant state of high alert and this of course has consequences. In the short term it can lead to headaches, insomnia & pain in your jaw or back but at its worst it can be a major cause of strokes, heart disease & cancer. So how can we go about reducing our stress? We have 5 natural ways to help.
1. Circuit breaker
One of the best ways to break free of stress is to take a few moments to step away from the situation or the thought. Take your mind off the problem, watch something that makes you laugh, take a walk in the fresh air or imagine yourself on the beach relaxing.
2. Share your stress with someone who cares
Another great remedy for stress can often be simply talking about it. Phone your mum or a friend and acknowledge you are feeling stressed. It can help vent some of your emotions and literally lighten the load. It can also help you put a different perspective on the situation.
3. Put the kettle on and matcha-tate
The presence of l-theanine in matcha changes our brain waves to calm us down and help curb a rising heart rate & increased blood pressure. The practice of whisking up a cup of matcha also brings us into the here and now. By focusing on the process of scooping your tea and mindfully whisking it up draws our focus off ruminating over the past or thinking too far into the future.
4. Kiss a loved one
Kissing is a great stress relief it creates a sense of connectedness which releases endorphins (those feel good chemicals) which help to counteract stress and depression. Get even more relief and add in a hug. The pressure of a hug stimulates nerve endings under the skin that send calming messages to the brain.
5. Release the electronic leash
Technology users are more likely to have sleeping disorders and higher levels of stress. This is caused by regular late night computer or mobile use or being constantly accessible via your mobile. So re-claim your bedroom and make it a technology free zone or try to have a an hour a day where you don’t use your phone.