As Mental Health Awareness Week is among us, I have great pleasure in writing a blog about stress – the theme of Mental Health Awareness week. There will be two related blogs: the first detailing the different types of stress, the second explaining what happens when we get stressed.
Stress...it’s a really bad thing, right? Wrong. Just as our bones and muscles need exercise to stay strong, we also need certain amounts of stress to stay healthy. Stress in itself isn’t a bad thing, and stress isn’t just mental stress. There are six different types of stress, and it’s when we have too much of any/all of these stressors that our minds and bodies start to complain.
- Physical Stress
+ Movement/exercise – we get stress from loading the bones and muscles of the body.
+ Regular exercise can help decrease stress levels.
+ When you exercise correctly according to your particular needs, exercise stimulates an anabolic environment – an environment to help tissue growth and repair.
- Over-exercising can be just as bad for our bodies as not exercising enough. Over-exercising can cause immune system suppression which can lead to increasing amounts of upper respiratory infections, chronic fatigue and more.
- Having poor posture puts a stress on your body as it influences your breathing, muscle function, joint health, circulation and your internal organs.
+ Get your exercise programme right for you. One that lets you exercise enough but doesn’t over-exercise your body.
+ Try to improve your posture through exercising and stretching.
- Chemical Stress
+ Our bodies are full of naturally produced chemicals which are essential for health. For example our hormone production and changes, sunlight produces vitamin D which helps our bodies regulate melatonin and cortisol, plant and animal foods are made up of organic chemicals – vitamins, enzymes, proteins and fats which we need to survive.
- Thousands of chemicals that were not around hundreds of years ago. Synthetic chemicals and our bodies don’t have the mechanisms to neautralise each other. Our bodies don’t like synthetic chemicals. Synthetically manufactured drugs can cause stress on the body. Chemicals we use to moisturise, to wash in, to clean with, all get absorbed through our skin and into our body. Agricultural stressors ie pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and some fertilisers. These are sprayed on the food we eat and/or on the food the animals eat and we eat the animals.
+ Use organic and natural products on your skin and to clean with. Or do what I did and start using essential oils to make your own!
+ Eat organic food whenever and wherever possible.
+ Sunlight is an electromagnet stress and without it we wouldn’t be alive!
+ The electromagnetic field of the earth helps control the rhythm of our hormones and their physiological functions.
- Over exposure to sunlight.
- Over exposure to radiation ie x-rays can be harmful.
- Extremely low frequency pollution emitted from electronic devices such as computers, mobile phones, microwaves, electric motors, TVs, and electric blankets. Too much extremely low frequency pollution can cause dysfunction in our hormonal and autonomic nervous systems.
+ Don’t stay out in the sun too long.
+ Only have x-rays if absolutely necessary.
+ Limit your use of electronic devices, stop altogether or get protective cases/coverings.
- Psychic/mental stress
+ Thinking/using your mind productively is a good form of stress.
+ Having a plan, achieving goals and working to achieve them.
+ Overcoming adversity
- Focussing on things that you don’t want rather than what you do want.
- Verbal abuse from others.
- Studying so much that your mental focus starts to diminish.
- Being rushed.
- Taking on more work/responsibility than you can manage.
+ Set goals
+ Read self help books if you struggle with prioritising your time or would like help achieving goals (get in touch if you’d like some good recommendations!)
+ Seek help if you’re struggling to overcome bad thoughts.
- Nutritional Stress
+ By eating according to your metabolic type, digesting, assimilating and metabolising foods is a positive stress on your body as your body is challenged with extracting nutrition from foods.
+ Eating organic foods.
+ Not over eating.
- Consuming too much/too little food or eating the wrong proportions according to your metabolic type.
- Consuming foods with toxins in them such as pesticides, herbicides, food preservatives, colourings, thickness emulsifiers etc.
+ Eat according to your metabolic type. Not sure what I mean or need help finding a metabolic typing advisor? Get in touch
+ Eat organic and natural food wherever possible
- Thermal stress
+ Your body needs to maintain it’s body temperature, that’s a good stress. When it’s hot/cold outside, your thermoregulatory system is stressed to keep your internal temperature constant.
- Anything that burns you
-Anything that brings your body temperature too low for extended periods of time.
+ Try not to burn yourself, on the oven or from the sun!
+ Don’t get too hot/cold for extended periods of time.
As you have read, there are many factors which contribute to your body becoming stressed. Look through the list of tips and see which ones you can try and reduce today! Your body will certainly thank you for it in both the short and the long term!