Stress Awareness

April is Stress Awareness Month  – here I’m going to look at what stress is and offer some signposts to help you recognise and deal with stress.

We have probably all experienced some level of stress in our lives. Exam times, buying a house, illness, workload….(the list goes on)….can all put us under pressure. Everyone will deal with stress differently, have coping mechanisms that are tried and tested for them or have a release in a workout or a run.   Here are some tips from the NHS to help you deal with stress http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/reduce-stress.aspx

What does stress do to the body?
Stress is a physical response, the body goes into “flight or fight” mode when under stress. Hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) are released to enable physical action in response to the threat. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing it can help us react to dangerous situations quickly. The hormones work to divert blood to the muscles and to shut down less immediately useful functions, such as digestion, amongst other things.  This will enable you to react quickly when put under stress, such as if someone runs in front of your car, without it mankind wouldn’t be here as this stress response means a quick response to dangerous animals when out hunting!

However in the modern world the first signs of stress may be things like tiredness, headaches or an upset stomach. The body is releasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, high levels of these can make you feel unwell and long term this is not good for your health.

The MIND website has a great table about signs of stress, showing how you might feel, how you might behave and how it may be physically affecting you. Take a look at Signs of Stress http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/stress/signs-of-stress/#.WPB529LyuM8

Dealing with stress
It is important to deal with any stress to have a happy and healthy life. Both the MIND and NHS websites offer advice and tips on recognising your stress triggers and how to start to deal with them.

Stress Awareness & Massage

There is evidence that massage can help manage stress  (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207450590956459 ). Massage has been shown to decrease cortisol , produced in the “flight or fight” response,  increase serotonin (a mood enhancer and helps with sleep) and dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres).  I am an experienced Massage Therapist and would highly recommend that you try a treatment to see if it will help you manage your stress.

For further information on stress and Stress Awareness Month please see the links below.

http://www.stress.org.uk/

http://stressawarenessmonth.com/

 

For further information on my treatments take a look here;

Massage Therapy – how I make my living!

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/massage-treatment/

 

I hope you’ve found something useful here.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

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One thought on “Stress Awareness

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