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UncategorizedAre you stressed?

Are you stressed?

 

If you have experienced more than a couple of the following symptoms over the past two weeks, chances are you are suffering from stress.

Once you have acknowledged that stress is affecting your health and happiness it’s up to you to take steps to reduce your stress (if possible), and minimise the damage the stress may be causing to your body and mind.

  • Anxious thoughts
  • Apprehension
  • Avoidance of tasks
  • Awareness of heartbeat
  • Crying
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Faint feelings
  • Feelings of tension
  • Fidgeting
  • Flatulence
  • Grinding teeth
  • Irritability
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Increased drug use
  • Increased smoking
  • Lacking motivation
  • Loose bowels
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Low energy levels
  • Poor concentration
  • Shakiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Tension headaches
  • Tiredness

How did you score?

What to do …

Once you have acknowledged that stress is affecting your health and happiness it’s up to you to take steps to reduce your stress (if possible), and minimise the damage the stress may be causing to your body and mind.

Diet

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the effects of stress is also one of the most difficult – improve your diet. Changing your diet when you are stressed can seem like adding more stress to the pile, however, you will feel better for the effort.

Avoid caffeine

The last thing you need when you are stressed is any stimulant. Rather than calming you down, caffeine increases the release of adrenaline. Avoid coffee and caffeine containing things (including guarana). Expect a caffeine withdrawal headache 18 hours after your last cup of coffee. If you simply can’t resist, keep your caffeine intake to a maximum of one cup of coffee or two cups of tea daily.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Alcohol is a nervous system depressant. If you enjoy a glass or two a day, and that calms you down, go for it, but if you notice you are more stressed, anxious or depressed the next day, or you are craving alcohol, or it changes your behaviour drastically, cut it out.

B vitamins

B vitamins support a stressed nervous system, and vitamin C is necessary for overfunctioning adrenal glands. Take a supplement of each daily during stressful times.

Stress-relieving herbs

Stress-relieving herbs supporting the adrenal glands, the nervous and immune systems include; passionflower, skullcap, valerian, licorice, rehmannia. St. John’s wort, kava, oats, zizyphus, siberian ginseng, lemon balm and chamomile. (NB Licorice is not recommended for people with high blood pressure)

Bach flowers

Rescue Remedy, a mixture of Bach flowers, is the quintessential stress fix. A few drops under the tongue stops a panic attack in its tracks. Or add it to a glass of water and sip it throughout a stressful day.

Self-care

Exercise is excellent for reducing and treating stress.

Often, it is not the stress that alarms our body, but how we perceive the stressful situation. If the circumstances permit, it might mean you need to change a situation, commitments, job, home or relationship. Perhaps a time- or money-management course is appropriate. Remember, happiness is a talent you can acquire, you just may need to learn a few skills first.

Quietening and calming the mind does not come naturally to most of us. It takes practice and dedication to learn some form of mind relaxation — meditation, listening to tranquil music, a walk on the beach or the park, or listening to a guided relaxation tape each evening – whatever suits you, ensure that each day contains something to still the mind.

Last thing at night, before bed, and after your meditation, take a long hot bath. Throw in a handful of Epsom salts to relax the muscles and swoosh in a few drops of lavender oil to soothe the nervous system.

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