I’ve always thought of myself as someone who deals well with stress. I try to be aware of what triggers my stress levels, take time to practice self-care, and live in the moment. I try not worry about what tomorrow might bring. Regardless of this awareness, it’s unrealistic to believe that I will never experience stress. It’s a natural reaction to life experiences.
I believe it’s important to reduce the stress triggers where you can, especially the repeating ones (the ones you can DO something about!) Understanding what stress does to your body helps you be able to manage the recovery of it better.
Recently I have been experiencing some stressful moments in my life, as we plan for our store relocation. I am very aware of how it is affecting my body. Stress induced eczema, sleeping trouble, muscle tension, and headaches are a few of my bodily reactions.
When we are having a stressful experience, our brain tells our body to release hormones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. This release is supposed to assist us in processing the stress and help us react to it. Unfortunately, when those hormones keep firing out, it can start to really have an affect on our health. Above are some of the responses my body has had to my stress, but there can be even more serious conditions like weakened immune system, high blood pressure, digestive trouble and it could even affect the reproductive system.
So let’s talk about some simple ways to manage stress as it’s happening, so we don’t tax our bodies to the point of a serious health issue.
One of the simplest ways start calming our nervous system is by taking nice, deep cleansing breaths – really deep (down to your belly) slow breaths! Practice doing this throughout the day (it takes seconds and feels so good!) Close your eyes as you do, and if it helps-add in a mental image of a beautiful beach, trees blowing, or whatever helps you experience calmness. I find listening to ocean sounds so soothing and can immediately feel those “good”/happy hormones being released. For others, exercise really gets the serotonin flowing. Try dancing away that stress, move your body and shake it out! What about a good belly laugh? I think we can all recall a laughing fit and how amazing that felt! It makes me smile just thinking about it! All of these release endorphins (a natural pain-killer and stress eraser).
A couple other things that I have been using to get me through my stressful period are Bach Remedies, Four Sigmatic Reishi, and my very favourite-OM Shantea from Hollow Reed Holistic.
The Bach Rescue Remedies are available in spray, drops that you add to water, or candy-like pastilles. It is a mixture of 5 different Bach flower remedies created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises. They help us get through any stressful situation. From last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. The response this remedy creates is an emotional one, not a physical one. You just all of a sudden realize you’re not feeling that stress.
Reishi mushroom is probably the most researched of medicinal mushrooms, and is considered a longevity herb. Reishi is an adaptogen (assists the body in adapting to stressful conditions). It basically tells your body to relax and calm down. It is beneficial for our cardiovascular system and keeping our immunity strong. I love that Four Sigmatic has created some amazing mushroom elixirs, including reishi, that you simply add hot water to and enjoy the benefits they offer.
Om Shantea tea is made locally in Winnipeg by Hollow Reed Holistic. It has been my personal favourite since master herbalist, Chad Cornell, first served me a cup! A combination of skullcap, gotu kola, holy basil, and oatstraw create a blend that leaves your body and mind with an overall feeling of calm.
Life can be busy, stressful, and challenging at times so the need for self-care, self-love with a splash of fun and laughter are most important! Find what works for you and do lots of that!