It might seem like an obvious thing to spot, but as our lifestyles get busier and busier, being under constant stress can start to feel normal. People sometimes even wear it as a badge of honour. As Naturopath Jo Herbert-Doyle explains, “For many, the ongoing challenges of modern life are just the ‘new normal’, so you put up with it until you can escape somewhere on holiday — then it’s back to the usual mayhem.”
But with the global health crisis dragging on, some might not be able to enjoy a much-needed escape from reality anytime soon. “What’s concerning to me, and many other healthcare practitioners, is that the physiological effects of ongoing stress (or lots of ‘busyness’) can become harmful emotionally, psychologically and even physically”, says Jo Herbert-Doyle.
When stress becomes too much for the mind and body to handle, it usually manifests in one of the following ways:
What are some proven stress remedies?
If you find yourself feeling acutely ‘squeezed’ or confronted at work or home (or anywhere) — the best thing is to rescue yourself from the situation. Find some space (go outside, into another room or even the work bathroom if needs be) and take a few minutes to simply breathe.
Similar breathing techniques are used by paramedics and the military who are faced with tough, stressful situations, so these are tried and tested methods to induce the body’s natural relaxation response — the perfect antidote to stress.
Start by holding your breath and counting to 5 or 7
Breathe out slowly and mentally say ‘relax’ or ‘calm’
Inhale again slowly counting to 5
Exhale slowly counting to 7
Repeat this pattern, breathing in for 5 and out for 7, for as long as you can (3 to 5 minutes is good)
Regular movement is not just for the body, but an established way to improve mental wellbeing. For some people a run or some other vigorous activity is the perfect way to settle; for many others, a walk will do the same. Aim to prioritise just 30 minutes a day to walk anywhere (though in nature, amongst trees or in a park, is best) even if you are unable to, or not interested in the gym or a yoga class (the latter of which, by the way, comes in so many forms you may find one you really enjoy if you try!).
To learn more about this topic, head on over to Jo Herbert-Doyle's article HERE in Central & Stanley Wellness’ blog. Based in Hong Kong, Central & Stanley Wellness is an Integrative & Functional clinic in Hong Kong whom we share both wellness principles and co-founder. Aka French-Australian Osteopath Damien Mouellic :)