Whether we realise it or not, stress will more than likely feature in our lives at one point or another. It’s a word with so much meaning and consequence if not properly addressed.
Perhaps you have pressure at work, are coping with a lot at home, or you are facing uncertainty; stress will present itself in many ways. Indeed, it can at times be used positively to allow you to draw focus on a task in hand, with the knowledge that the feeling of stress shall pass once that task has been completed.
Of course, there are periods in our life where we have to teach ourselves to cope with and manage ongoing stress, in the hope that it soon shall pass.
Here are five tips and guidelines for handling stress, particularly in reducing the impact it has on our physical self:
- Take time to breathe. It’s something so simple, but for an essential task we do all day every day, it’s amazing how often we do actually stop breathing and hold that tension in. If something is building up or a situation is causing you stress, take a moment to breathe in and out deeply. Slowly in through the nose, out through the mouth. Just repeating this 10 times, will slow you down and hopefully allow some clarity.
- Do some shoulder rolls. Many of us hold a lot of tension in our shoulders which can build up and cause us physical pain over time. Regular shoulder roles can be done anywhere, any time. Try five backwards and five forwards to free up movement and open up the chest, especially if you have been sat down over a computer all day.
- Take a walk. Even five minutes in some fresh air will do you the world of good and free up your joints to help with mobility. Don’t take your phone, just yourself and really observe everything around you; the weather, the birds, what’s growing outside, the people around you.
- In periods of stress our gut instinct can be to retreat; to hide under the duvet, lie on the sofa and just generally wallow. Whilst these days can be good every once in a while (and an opportunity to catch up on a box set), it’s important to know that this may not ultimately help you find that balance in managing ongoing stress. Instead, try getting a little exercise. Swimming is a fantastic form of all round aerobic exercise that really stretches the body and is low impact.
- Let the natural light in. If you are indoors and can’t get out and about, take some time to open all the curtains and some windows if it’s warm enough outside. Fresh air and natural light can do us the world of good.
Osteopathy, together with sensible eating and exercise can help the body to heal and regain good health by identifying particular areas that hold this stress and working on these through massage and manipulation. Book a consultation today to see how it can help.
Remember, it’s important to talk about our mental health; with friends, family and if you need to, with medical professionals. If you feel unable to cope with stress, anxiety or any other issues, please always seek professional medical advice.