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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Help for the body and mind in times of stress

There are an overwhelming number of factors that contribute to the build-up of stress. Change is ever present in our lives and, whilst change is often rewarding, it is also demanding of precious emotional and physical resources. Of course, we can now talk about such things, which is a bonus. Acknowledging a situation goes a great way towards coping with it. Stress, after all, is not necessarily a bad thing. Challenges can present us with opportunities to develop and move on. The idea is not to rid our lives of any stimulus, but to improve ways of dealing with it, learning to support our coping mechanisms, both physical and emotional.

There are many ways in which you can help relieve any stress you find yourself under. One of these is exercise. This will not only increase your lung capacity, it will also increase levels of ‘happy chemicals’ in your body. It does not need to involve lengthy training sessions in the gym either. A walk round the block in your lunch break for example, taking the dog to the park, can make all the difference to how you are feeling. Breathe deeply as you go to stimulate the circulatory system and keep oxygen flowing to the brain to help it work well. It will give you the time needed to mull things over and perhaps see things in a different light. Alternatively, find out what classes are available at your local leisure centre. You’ll not only reap the benefits of exercise, you’ll make new friends too.

When life is getting you down, don’t sit and mope on your own. Get in touch with a friend or friends who you know will be able to lift your spirits. Avoid those who are just going to make you even more miserable. It can often help to discuss a problem with someone you trust. They may have experienced the same problem and can offer advice on how they dealt with it.

It’s a fact that when we are stressed, our immune system is weakened and we are more likely to fall prey to lurking germs. With this in mind, it may be beneficial to take a tincture of echinacea in times of strain to help boost the immune system.

Another way to escape from the pressures of a busy lifestyle is simply ‘to be in the here and now’. If you want the ultimate in relaxation and energised living, understanding and attuning yourself to others and the world you live in, just be where you are. It does not require any experience, is free and can be done every day with just a little practice. It is merely being aware of what is going on around you, enjoying living in the moment. As you walk, try to slow down your breathing as well as your thoughts. Breathing exercises are very steadying and can help reduce the release of inflammatory and pain-causing chemicals. Concentrate on what is going on all around you and on the sounds you can hear. This will help to bring you back to the present moment and you will find that gradually there is a shift. You will become more relaxed, your thoughts will seem to slow down and you will experience a sense of peace and wellbeing.

If you find that the pressures of a busy lifestyle are beginning to catch up on you, a herbal remedy for stress relief may help increase your ability to cope. Look out for a tincture containing the natural based extracts of valerian and hops for best effect.

This is a sponsored post, written by Alison Cavog for A Vogel