Stress.....its part of an everyday struggle with the majority of the population. Family , Work and Social demands all vying for our time and attention.
The effects of long term stress on the body are lengthy and variable but can include : stomach cramping, headaches, back pain, hair loss, toothaches, muscle cramps, depression and anxiety just to name a few.
The good news is a few simple changes can help you to reduce stress in the body, helping the body recover.
1. Proprioceptive Stimulation - the feet are a great way to down regulate the stress hormones in the body, think of the last time you stepped barefoot onto a sandy beach and put your toes in the water, you most likely took a big inhale in , a great sign the body knew it could begin to wind down. By giving the body cues such as these we can instantly change its current state.
Something to try : set up a tray of stimuli near the front door, make an effort to remove shoes before you enter the house and step into your tray for 2 - 5 minutes. The tray could be filled with soft, round pebbles, beach sand, grass or water. Choose something you will instantly relate to "de-stress".
2. Create a routine on entering the house, don't get straight into the "to do list". Have a certain type of tea that you only drink when you get home, this gives the body a cue to separating you from work and home. Trying soothing blends like camomile (creates calm) , green tea (great for antioxidants), lemon tea (immune boosting and alkaline) or peppermint tea (if you need a little pick me up). Find a quiet place to sit and enjoy the cuppa before taking the kids head on.
3. Burn some soothing oil. Aromatherapy is a great way to change mood. The olfactory nerve gives us our sense of smell and starts from our nose and enters the skull through tiny holes to connect directly to the brain. This nerve rapidly sends signals to many different parts of the brain, including the limbic system and amygdala, which are in charge of emotions, mood, and memory. These systems are also in charge of regulating our autonomic nervous system, which can either trigger a fight-or-flight response, quickening our breath, heart rate and raising our blood pressure, or can soothe us through turning on the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxing our bodies. There are many to pick from, most people knowing about lavender as a relaxation changer, but there are other great ones to give a go :
Lemon : can soothe stress and anxiety and lower your heart rate in just 10 minutes, with effects lasting for almost half an hour.
Bergamot : reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and stress.
Ylang Ylang : calms the nervous system, leading to lower heart rate and blood pressure.
Clary-sage : has antidepressent qualities, and helps calm the system