Since April is National Stress-Awareness Month… it’s the perfect time to assess your level of stress and explore ways to lessen it.
In the UK, as a society, we tend to downplay the physical impacts of stress and anxiety, and we need to all STOP, literally, and take a breath.
Stress manifests into physical ailments if left unattended in the body. How? Let me explain.
Your body is the most intelligent system ever created, consistently communicating to yourself through yourself, but you know this don’t you… Let me continue. Our brain sends signals through our central nervous system, using chemicals as a means to communicate and operate our bodies.
So, What Is Stress?
Stress; a manmade state of mental or emotional strain/tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances; – outer world affecting our inner world. This can be anything from facing something upsetting, time pressure, conflicts to surprisingly positive things such as organising a wedding, going on a date etc.
Stress produces chemicals called hormones; cortisol and epinephrine. Alone, these hormones are not bad, at times they protect us from danger, producing adrenaline in the body for our ‘fight or flight’ response to kick in. However, the issue is we all tend to stay and live here; in our SNS – Sympathetic Nervous System. And, just like any other chemical, it is a toxin that our body cannot digest. They must actively be flushed out of the body, so they do not build up and start attacking us internally – this is how many diseases are formed.
The goal? To actively switch from our unconscious living stress response, ‘Fight and Flight’ and start triggering our relaxation response ‘Rest & Digest’, the PNS – Parasympathetic Nervous System.
Through the practise of training our mind, we learn to take the control back, keeping our stress signals well under control. The ‘feel good’ chemicals, serotonin and dopamine that are responsible for feelings of pleasure and relaxation are increased in the brain and these create a sense of well-being. Though conscious practise, activating the PNS helps to restore and heal the body by allowing our blood to flow more freely to our digestive organs, endocrine glands, and lymphatic circulation. And, as a result, one’s blood pressure and heart rate lowers, nutrients from the food we eat can be absorbed more easily, and toxins are released from the body due to enhanced circulation.
Your Top 3 Detox Tips
Although resolutions are great, making changes that you consciously stick to require more than the intention. You’ll need a plan, and with consistency we can bust stress once and for all.
Here are our tips to bust that stress and start living an authentic lifestyle despite all external factors.
- Diaphragm Breathing: Take a full abdominal breath.
Our neurons are highly sensitive to all external factors. Each time we eat, pressure is created on the abdomen which enables the neurons to send signals to our brain to rest and digest. When we breathe from our abdomen, our diaphragm creates the same pressure. This again allows the neurons to emit the same signals to the brain, to rest, digest, and come to a relaxed state.
- Eat Celery, And Lots Of It.
Magnesium is known as a stress reliever, and celery contains enough of it to help you to calm down. It soothes the nervous system due to the high amounts of minerals, and essential oil. Active compounds known as phthalides are plentiful in celery, and they improve circulatory health by at least 14%, lowering stress hormones in the blood.
If you can, steam your celery, it has been shown to preserve up to 99% of the nutrients and keeps its original flavour.
- Sing Your Favourite Tune, Or Even Better OM.
When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical and emotional landscape. The elation comes from the endorphins released by singing, which brings forth the feelings of pleasure. Oxytocin, is also released during singing, which has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress, and enhances trust.
Singing OM impartially, the universal hymn, has endless benefits for the mind, body, and soul. From losing weight, removing toxins from the body, decreases blood pressure, all whilst spiritually drawing abundant positivity towards you. The next time your loved ones tell you to stop singing, don’t listen 😉
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