At times stress can wreak havoc on our inner feelings of zen and leave us feeling totally overwhelmed. Work demands? Chaos at home? “Uncertain times”? (We can all relate to that one.) It’s completely normal to experience short-term stress or feelings of overwhelm but there are ways to manage anxiety and stress naturally so that it doesn’t lead to longer term problems. Read on for our top tips for handling anxiety and stress.
According to simplepsychology.org, stress is: a biological and psychological response experienced on encountering a threat that we feel we do not have the resources to deal with. When we come up against these “threats”, our sympathetic nervous system creates a chemical reaction which you know as the fight, flight, freeze or fawn response. This is your body’s way of getting you ready for action to protect you from danger - this dates back to when we lived in caves! When this reaction happens you may notice your senses are heightened, your adrenalin spikes, your blood pressure rises and your heart starts beating fast. Unfortunately the caveman in us still can’t distinguish between real threats (like a saber tooth tiger entering the cave) and harmless threats (like your boss asking you for a quick catch up out of the blue). This leaves us feeling strung out over everyday occurrences.
Thankfully, our bodies are designed to handle small amounts of stress from time to time. Although stress shows up differently in everyone, often you will feel anxious, irritable, have racing thoughts or not be able to focus on the task at hand. It’s important to notice these signs early if they’re happening regularly so you can try out different tips for dealing with stress and anxiety… otherwise you may run the risk of developing long-term, chronic stress (or burn out).
Obviously, none of this is ideal! When our stress response is activated over a long period of time and our bodies are overexposed to stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol, it can negatively impact other processes within our bodies and leave us at risk of all sorts of health problems. These problems could include high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks or even problems with our immune system.
To help you avoid falling into the long-term stress cycle, read on for our best tips for managing stress and anxiety.
Whether you’re a cardio fiend, enjoy lifting weights, practice yoga or just like a gentle walk - any form of daily movement is extremely beneficial when it comes to managing stress. Not only is it a must for your overall health it also makes your brain release endorphins. These hormones help relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your sense of wellbeing. Even short bursts of movement can help, so if you spend your work day sitting at a desk, set reminders to stretch or head out for a ten minute walk. You could also try doing a few minutes of downward dog a couple of times a day - it’s believed this yoga pose can help relieve tension and stress.
Put your thoughts onto paper or into your notes app on your phone… you’ll be amazed at how clear your head feels afterwards! Stress can make things feel messy, unorganised and overwhelming, but a list adds structure by breaking tasks down which helps reduce that feeling of “there’s too much to do”. Plus, it’s been shown that ticking tasks off your to-do list creates a feeling of accomplishment and makes your body release a hit of dopamine - the feel-good hormone!
Find a mindfulness practice that works for you and try to incorporate it into your daily life. You could meditate, do breathwork, try journaling, practice gratitude, or simply head out for a walk (without your phone!) and take in the nature around you. What happens if you feel stressed during the day at work? Try doing a quick body scan and focus on releasing tension from the areas where you’re holding stress. This could mean dropping your shoulders, unclenching your jaw or stretching your neck.
It’s easier said than done, but learning to say “no” more often, can be one of the quickest and most effective ways to remove stress from your life. This could be as simple as turning down a night on the town in favour of hanging at home in your PJ’s, or as important as setting clear boundaries at work. By making sure you prioritise your own personal time, you also protect your mental capacity, and gives you more time to say yes to the things that really matter.
We have a range of adaptogenic stress supplements that can help your body cope with occasional stress. Beauty Well Super Capsules are formulated with a special mixture of adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms. Beauty Sleep Adaptogenic Super Powder also contains Adaptogenic Mushrooms and other key ingredients that help you cope with stress and sleep better too! Feeling a little flustered during the day at work? Beauty Brain Super Powder can help pick you up and get you through the day. It features an exclusive Lemon Balm Extract that supports a calm, positive mood and helps you cope with occasional stress.
While these tips for managing stress and anxiety are designed to help relieve short-term stress or feelings of overwhelm, if you’re feeling like it’s more than just a little stress - please seek out advice from your GP or try phoning a helpline for assistance. A professional can set you up with the most effective tools to manage the stress and anxiety you’re dealing with, especially if it’s long-term stress.
Samaritans: 0800 726 666
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or free text 4357
Helpline: Free call or text 1737