Are you familiar with this feeling?…
When Friday approaches, you may feel relieved not to have the stresses of work weighing over you for two days.
Also known as ‘that Friday feeling’…
But What would you say if I told you stress can be a good thing?
You’d probably think I’m crazy right?
Well, I’m going to tell you all about stress and how it can effect you.
Once you understand why you’re feeling different types of ‘stress’, I will fill you in on ways you can manage it.
Stress generally has a ‘bad reputation’, however stress is something that we all need in our lives, myself included!
Let me start off with saying that there are two different types of stress: Eustress and Distress, can you guess which one’s the good guy?
If you said Eustress you were right!
This type of stress is what comes with getting a new job, passing your driving test or something that can be beneficial to you in some way – it can sometimes be confused with adrenaline!
Eustress can even keep you feeling motivated!
However… It is possible to have too much of a good thing!
Distress is the type of stress that people associate with the term ‘stress’.
This is caused by having too much eustress, causing your body to react differently to it.
When you experience stress your body is in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is when your body releases adrenaline and cortisol as a survival instinct.
When you stay in this state for too long, you may start getting headaches or migraines, an upset stomach and muscle tension.
This is because your body still perceives that there is a threat to you.
If muscle tension persists then you may end up getting neck/back pain as a result, and I’m sure you don’t want that!
Here’s a few ways on how to keep stress (not the good kind!) at bay!
Express your feelings. This could be either to write your doubts, worries and feelings down or to simply talk about them.
Remember it’s ok to be emotional! The best way I can put it is to think of a young child – they cry, get angry and can throw right temper tantrums!
But what happens when they have finished? They are a LOT calmer.
Children don’t know how to deal with stress or unhappy thoughts and often express them because they don’t know what else to do with the emotion.
Once they’ve expressed how they’re feeling, they’re no longer confused by their emotions and carry on as normal. I can honestly say that telling people how you feel or writing down your feelings will feel as if a load has been lifted.
Do Something You Enjoy. A lot of the time we can get overwhelmed because we don’t feel that we have time to do the things we enjoy. This eventually can lead to stress forming without us really noticing.
How many of you have once said:
‘I’d love to [go walking/swimming/writing/go to the gym]…but I don’t have the time’?
Time is often described as something that is precious. But if it’s as precious as we think it is, why aren’t we making the most of it?
With this in mind, try doing something that you haven’t done in a while but you know it brings you joy.
Once you realise that you have time for hobbies, you won’t feel like you are always against the clock. And as a result, you won’t be as overwhelmed and your stress will likely to have been reduced.
Exercise. Yes it is good to do exercise to relieve stress but you don’t always have to do things like running. Pilates is a great stress reliever too!
Not only does Pilates concentrate on slow movements and breathing, it also helps relieve the muscle tension that might have been causing you to have back pain.
This type of exercise stretches and focuses, on the muscles which ends up relaxing the body. it’s great to do on a morning but if you feel more stressed as the day goes on, it’s just as good on a night!
Doing some stretching or pilates on a night will help you prepare for bed as well as helping you sleep better afterwards!
Another form of exercise that will help is not exercise that you do physically, but mentally.
Meditation is a great way to reduce stress as it stops you thinking about the future and your worries and focuses you back to the present.
Once in the present, that overwhelming feeling just slips away, and makes you wonder why you were stressed in the first place!
So remember when you are next feeling the stress of everyday life, ask yourself why is it that you’re stressed? What type of stress is it? and how are you going to manage it.