Lady holding her head in her ands looking at a laptop sitting on a wooden table

Stress Awareness Month has taken place every year since 1992, to help raise awareness of the causes and potential cures of modern-day stress.

We’ve all experienced times of stress and pressure in our lives and short term this is unlikely to have a negative effect on our bodies. When we are under stress, the body prompts the adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones including adrenalin and cortisol. Adrenalin increases the heart rate, elevates the blood pressure and boosts energy supplies and cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone, increases the release of sugars into the bloodstream.  

 

Short-Term Stress

These hormones will rouse our body and very rapidly invoke what is known as the “fight-or-flight response” or “stress response.” This response to short-term stress can benefit our bodies and help us deal with situations such as interviews, exams etc.

 

Long-Term Stress

The effect of long-term stress however is much more serious and can have a significant impact on our bodies.  Long-term stress can result in many serious health problems such as depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, menstrual problems and more.

 

Learn how to deal with stress

The important thing is to try and learn how to deal with stress.  You can’t always eliminate stressful situations, but you can try and learn how to respond to them. You can learn to know what triggers stress and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

Taking regular exercise is encouraged to reduce stress.  When we exercise, the adrenalin and cortisol (the stress hormones) levels in our bodies reduce and it stimulates the production of endorphins which are often referred to as ‘feel good’ chemicals and are the body’s natural painkillers. Exercise will also increase your stamina and strength, and assist with weight loss which in turn can assist with self-esteem issues.

Exercise may not be for everyone though, so below are some more ideas of what can help to manage and reduce your stress levels.

Stress Management in blue circle in centre with other circles around outside with words therapy, spa, exercise, hobby, meditation, yoga, nature, time management, and music

Reflexology encourages the body and the mind to slow down. It helps to release tension in the body and mind, improving mood, sleep quality, energy levels and leaving you feeling much more relaxed.

 You can find out more about stress at www.nhs.uk.