In today’s day and age, it’s hard to not find ourselves overwhelmed every once in a while. The constant barrage of news and information while juggling everyday tasks has turned stress into a common occurrence in our lives. The past year itself has been dubbed to be ‘one of the most stressful periods in history.
In a technical sense, stress is a naturally occurring reaction caused by the body’s defense system. Often triggered as a flight or fight response and generally seen in moments of high pressure and intensity. However, in the current modern setting, it has evolved into a more commonly occurring phenomenon of everyday life.
The Body Under Stress
During a stressful situation, the body produces amounts of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, also known as the stress hormones in the body. The effects of this hormone cocktail bring about the physical reactions we often see, such as a spike in blood pressure and sugar levels, shortage of breath, excessive perspiration, flushing, dizziness, and more.
Understanding the ‘Stressors’:
Stress can be broadly classified into two types – acute and chronic. Short-term or acute stress is more commonly seen and experienced as a part of everyday life like being stuck in a traffic jam or an impending deadline. On the other hand, chronic or long-term stress is often due to a drastic change or shift in life such as the death of a loved one, financial issues, chronic illnesses, and other similar traumatic situations.
Stress can be induced by a variety of reasons or sources which are often termed as ‘stressors’. These depend completely on an individual’s health as well as the environment and in some cases of acute stress can prove to be slightly beneficial. However, this form of harmless acute stress can turn into a chronic condition easily if effective steps aren’t taken. A cumulation of multiple stress triggers can severely affect a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
What is worth noting is that stress is a personal condition. While certain stress triggers might be extremely challenging for one person, they might seem like a moderate inconvenience to another. Hence, it is important to understand the effects of these stressors rather than the source to find a suitable form of relief or solution.
There are many avenues to choose from when it comes to stress relief. They comprise many different steps ranging from lifestyle changes to supplements and even prescription medication.
Finding a solution for stress is a journey of trial and error. But instead of just a single solution, it is about finding the right mix of these relieving practices that can cater to your needs while seamlessly becoming a part of your daily life.
Catch some ZZZs
Sleep is a common antidote suggested for a variety of ailments, including stress. This is because a period of deep sleep is when our body carries out the most essential function – repairing itself, an activity crucial for a stressed body. Stressors and their symptoms can be compared to the phenomenon of erosion, where the continuous pressure can slowly chip away at the body’s integrity and vitality. Likewise, poor sleep can lead to diminished productivity and health, extending the effects of the stressors, and thus creating a vicious circle of chronic stress. This is why complete restful sleep is necessary to allow the body to heal, recuperate and build itself to sustain the damage that stress can cause.
TIP: During a stressful period, you may find yourself unable to fall asleep or get enough rest. Plant-based sleeping aids such as Cannabis leaf extract are known to have a calming effect and can help the mind relax, slow down and unwind to provide better sleep. Being plant-based it is hypoallergenic and devoid of many harmful side effects that are commonly seen in generic allopathic sleeping aids.
Supplement the Relief
Our diet has always played an influential role in our overall health and wellbeing. The gut-mind connection can often get severely affected under stress. Conditions such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and indigestion are common precursors of a stressed-out body. A good diet is not just essential to help your body manage stress but also to nourish and protect vital organs such as the brain, which are usually severely affected by chronic stress.
Supplement your daily meals with food rich in amino acids, omega fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin D, and prebiotics to boost your gut and brain health. A balanced diet consisting of these nutrients will help keep your gut healthy and in turn fortify your brain as well as your immunity.
The Mind, Body, and Soul Connection
Mind-body-focused techniques have been a part of several meditative regimes practiced throughout ancient healing systems such as Ayurveda or even traditional Chinese medicine.
As a form of relaxation therapy, it is known to have the most significant and evident results when it comes to lowering the intensity of stress and stress-induced symptoms.
Practicing meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness for 10-15 minutes every day can be a great way to tackle stress. The regime is a wholesome habit as it helps soothe and calm the mind while helping you build a good, healthy physique.
Practicing Pranayama or at least 5-6 sets of Surya Namaskars can also be beneficial. Adding in some high-intensity cardio exercises or yoga techniques can increase the therapeutic benefits with the extra rush of feel-good endorphins.
A notable feature about this form of therapy is that it does not solely focus on temporarily lowering the stressful feeling but includes a more holistic approach of actively including healing and meditative activities to gradually lower the adverse effects of the symptoms. As a result, in the long run, the body finds itself much more attuned to handling and reacting to stress.
Mild physical activity coupled with mindfulness and breathing exercises is a great way to build a better and balanced connection between your mind, body, and soul.
Elevate and Enrich
Adopting mindful practices and creating a more soothing and positive environment can be extensively helpful in managing stress. But with a few extra steps you can elevate and maximize the therapeutic benefits of these positive habits. Ensure you get some sun every day. Make sure there is good enough natural light entering your living space. It is crucial in uplifting your mood. Herbal or plant-based solutions in the form of essential oils or incense help add a sensorial yet extremely calming touch to your surroundings.
Teas and tinctures are another beneficial addition, especially those infused with extracts that are proven to help provide stress relief. A cup of camomile tea with a few drops of CannaReleaf Stress Management can truly help take the edge off after a stressful day. In tandem with mindful techniques, this mix has the power to work alongside the body to lower stress and the effects of its symptoms without affecting the body’s natural integrity.
The feeling of stress is something akin to being lost in a foggy forest or an overbearing weight on your shoulders. Prolonged periods of both acute and chronic stress can significantly affect every day functioning and wellbeing. Chronic stress is an actual medical condition and hence must be treated as such. In cases of an extended period of severe stress, it is always advisable to consult a professional medical practitioner.
The reason why it can be very beneficial is that communicating and sharing your experience can help alleviate the feeling of stress. It can be a key solution to help lift the feeling of being overwhelmed or burdened by pressure. It can also aid in navigating and choosing the right solutions to help you relieve stress.
A professionally guided therapeutic routine along with a daily habit of mindful meditation can help the body and mind recover from even the most intense forms of chronic stress in a safe, healthy and holistic way.
The All-Inclusive Approach
Stress isn’t an isolated condition but is closely related to our wellbeing, and properly managing stress is key to the healing process. The reason why a more holistic method is considered more approachable is that it is integrative, where it does not just focus on simply masking the effects of stress but rather works on mitigating and diminishing the effects of external stressors and symptoms. With a focus on relief as well as fortifying physical and mental wellbeing, holistic solutions can help with recovery as well as long-term stress management.
Being under stress has become a familiar feeling yet overcoming it continues to remain a challenge. Stress is a lifestyle-induced condition and hence, it can be alleviated through simple modifications to our lifestyle. A holistic approach that focuses on slow healing and recovery is the answer to long-term stress management.
The modern lifestyle is littered with stressors and triggers. It is a phenomenon that we simply can’t evade. But this stress doesn’t have to be so invasive and detrimental to our health. You can’t escape stress, but you can curate your lifestyle where relief is ingrained into your everyday life through these holistic healing solutions.
Put simply, stress is when the body feels drained and completely out of tune. At this moment, when our inner balance is nowhere to be found, it is only time to listen and retune the body and find its balance.
Written by Shamooda Amrelia, Doorbeen Creatives