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Struggling with stress? How to manage and reduce stress

Did you know many health conditions can have a direct impact on the way we manage stress?

No doubt we have all felt stressed at some point in our lives and that is completely normal. However, when we start to feel stressed most of the time it can become a problem.

So, what is stress and how can we manage it? Here comes the science bit!

How stress impacts your body

Stress is how our bodies react when we feel unable to cope under pressure. The pressure can be in many forms and is individual to us all. The rising anxiety causes our bodies to assume a “fight or flight” response, a combination of different hormones and chemicals like adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine are released which prepare us to attack or flee the perceived threat.

Once the pressure or threat has passed, stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you're constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.

Different types of stress

Sometimes a small amount of stress can be good and help us complete tasks. But when the stress feels very intense or lasts for a long-time it can cause issues.

  • Acute stress: Happens within a few minutes or a few hours of a particular stressful event and last less than a few weeks.

  • Chronic stress: Feeling consistently pressured and overwhelmed over a long period of time.

Common symptoms for stress include:
  • Aches and pains e.g., chest pains, headaches etc.

  • Insomnia or weakness

  • Less socialisation

  • Unfocused thinking

  • Digestive problems

  • Drug or alcohol misuse

  • Anxiety

  • Low mood

  • Irritability

  • Emotional ups and downs

  • Poor sleep quality

  • Poor concentration

  • Social withdrawal

  • Recurrent dreams or flashbacks, which can be intrusive and unpleasant

Be brain-smart: Look after your wellbeing

Being mindful of your mind, body and soul is key to managing stress. Here are some ideas that work for us here at The London House of Wellbeing.

Give them a go and let us know how you get on!!

  • Keep a symptom diary: This will help identify potential triggers and allow you to prepare for stressful situations in advance.

  • Be kind to yourself - everything starts with you. Take breaks in the day for things you enjoy and reward yourself for those “quick” wins during the day.

  • Dedicate some planned “me time” and do what helps you unwind be that a nice warm bath, some deep breathing exercises or curling up with a good book.

  • Indulge in your interests and hobbies. Spending time on things you enjoy could help distract you from a stressful situation. If stress is making you feel lonely or isolated, shared hobbies can also be a good way to meet new people.

  • Spend time in nature. This can help to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. You could try going for a walk in a green space, taking care of indoor plants, or spending time with animals.

  • Look after your physical health. Getting enough sleep, staying physically active and eating a balanced diet can make stress easier to manage. Stress can sometimes make these things difficult to look after. But even small changes can make a big difference.

How can we help you?

Here at The London House of Wellbeing we believe prevention is key. We know the importance of having regular health screening tests and the impact they can have on conditions such as stress.

Some of the health screens we offer can be used as a tool to help you to manage stress, these include:

  • Iron test

  • Vitamin D test

  • Thyroid test

Book in today and battle stress your way! We’re here to help you live a healthy, happy life.

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