Stress is a subject we can all relate to at different points in our lives. From an increased workload, financial worries, or tension with loved ones - the feeling of immense pressure, overwhelm, and inability to cope can be detrimental to our health.
For some, stress may result from one single element in their daily life, but for many, it can be a gradual build-up of one pressure on top of another. We're often slow to recognise any cumulative stresses until we've reached a breaking point. That's why we must look to pinpoint and manage any areas of our lives that may contribute to high levels of stress before it affects our daily lives.
So, why is it important to keep our stress levels under control?
When we become stressed, our brain undergoes physical and chemical changes, resulting in our bodies going into 'flight or fight’ mode. This release of hormones and chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, contributes to certain physiological effects such as rapid heartbeat, fast breathing and high blood pressure.
It's at these moments, blood flow is prioritised to our most important muscles, minimising our brain function and leaving us unable to think straight or focus on tasks at hand. And if we remain in a state of stress for long periods of time, we increase our chances of developing other serious health problems.
A small amount of stress is both good and necessary, but intense or chronic stress can be harmful. We can implement many daily habits to help manage stress when it does arrive in our lives, leaving us able to tackle those challenging moments calmly and with no lasting effect.
Here are our top 5 daily tips for managing stress
1) Keep active by prioritising exercise
Not only does regular exercise improve our quality of life by reducing disease, maintaining strong bones and muscles and preventing weight gain - it is vital in supporting our mental wellbeing.
Exercising releases feel-good endorphins and lowers your body's stress hormones, like cortisol. By helping to clear your thoughts and allowing you to approach any problems with a calm head, keeping active will have a profoundly positive impact on both your mental and physical wellbeing.
2) Surround yourself with a supportive network
Humans are wired to connect, so social interactions are imperative for our health and wellbeing. Having a strong network of people we trust, who we can talk to and enjoy the company of, is hugely beneficial to our mental health. It allows us to talk through problems with someone who can help us find solutions, share positive experiences, and have a good laugh - which we know is a super-effective stress reliever!
3) Avoid unhealthy habits
When we're feeling stressed or anxious, the lure of drinking alcohol, smoking or eating junk food can be a comforting release for a moment or two. But it's important to remember that these habits may provide temporary relief but, on a long-term basis, can cause additional problems. Always look to solve the root of your stress and avoid covering it up with unhealthy habits with no real benefits.
4) Get a good night's sleep
Sleep is just as important for our overall wellbeing as eating well and getting plenty of exercise. It's an essential time for our mind and body to repair, regenerate and recover.
Following a regular sleep routine can be a powerful stress reliever, helping to improve concentration, regulate moods, and sharpen our ability to problem-solve. Check out our blog on sleep tips here.
5) Boost your natural resilience with adaptogens
Adaptogens are a class of herbs (including roots and mushrooms) that help the human body adapt to stress, whether physical, biological, emotional, or environmental.
The Herbtender's Calm & Collected is our soothing adaptogen mix for those who may be feeling too anxious or wired to be productive. Featuring Ashwagandha, one of the few non-stimulating adaptogens, and accompanied by Holy Basil and Lion's Mane - this perfect herbal companion improves the body's resistance to stress and helps to maintain mental balance, all whilst nourishing good health and promoting vitality. Buy here.
Our summary on stress...
Stress isn't avoidable, but it is manageable. And to minimise the risk of any serious stress-related illnesses, it's essential to identify and manage any causes early on.
As always recommended for a healthy and thriving life; eat well, be active, get rest and have plenty of human connection.
(NOTE: If you feel like stress is affecting your everyday life and making you feel unwell, we’d recommend you speak with your GP.)