A little bit of stress RELIEF


I am a little late with this weeks blog because I am so excited today!

I have had a very busy week pulling together a new idea that is just a really amazing way that I can help you to measure your fitness.

It has been an exciting week and I have noticed my stress levels rise, just a little.

Do you ever notice it?

I have to say that in the past I have not always been great at knowing when I am stressed and when I am not.

What I have learned to do more of in the last few years is to recognise the signs.

I now know when stress is going to increase and I am far more able now to cope with it than I have ever have been.

This week has been interesting too because I have been exploring why and how I have made that shift.

It led me back to a document that I wrote about 11 years ago when I first started learning about stress.

It was then that I qualified as a Stress Management trainer, at the time I was working as a trainer in the corporate world and I specialised in health and well-being.

I wrote a report on how to manage stress and came up with some theories about how to dodge the effects of stress.

It was great and full of lots of theory.

Reading it now what it lacked was personal experience.

In my late 20’s I had no children, no mortgage and little idea about what real stress was.

The document came in really handy when I was writing the stress section of my new programme, which I will tell you more about in a minute.

I wanted today to share with you part of the updated model I was working with back then. It was pretty powerful as it was but now with the benefit of added wrinkles and some pretty stressful moments thrown in I think you will find it really helpful.

I think you will find it helpful because this is how I turned from a stressed out mother of 2 to a woman who on some days can safely say I have it all under control (there are still those few days that get on top of me but I’m working on those!).

The Stress RELIEF Model:

Relaxation

Exercise

Lifestyle

Internal Feelings

Eating

Focus

The elements above are what influence our stress response. That response the body gives when it feels under pressure.

When we feel threatened our body responds by releasing stress chemicals that get us ready to either fight or flight.

This basically means that the blood flow rushes to our muscles to help us take immediate action.

If we don’t either fight or flight the body finds itself in a position where it is all ready and the chemicals are all floating around and there just isn’t anywhere for them to go.

It’s poised ready for action that we may never actually take.

If the stress is there for a long time you can imagine the damage that is caused by the body being ready for action all the time and never releasing the hormones that hold us there.

This is when the body experiences disease and illness.

It is therefore really important to take action to correct this and to ensure that if you are experiencing stress you are able to manage it.

Relaxation

Active relaxation – not just sitting in front of the TV – is an effective way to unwind, reduce anxiety and bolster your stress defences.

It produces a short lived reduction in blood pressure.

Long term effects of relaxation include an enhanced feeling of control and a more positive outlook, both blunt the body’s natural stress response.

Exercise

Of course I could go on about the importance of exercise all day so I will keep it brief!

One of the best ways to reduce the effects of stress is physical exercise. As it is probably the most beneficial way of burning excess ‘stress chemicals’ accumulated in our bodies, almost any physical exercise will reduce the ill-effects of stress.

Exercise that makes you feel hot and sweaty is the best for releasing the frustrations associated with stress, so build this into your regular routine.

The more you exercise the fitter you become and the more able your body is to cope with stress and the pressures everyday life puts on you.

Lifestyle

Reducing stress is really about making some simple lifestyle changes that will help you cope much more effectively with day-to-day stresses.

Think about the things in your life that cause you stress, can you make any changes to your lifestyle to help relieve these elements?

Stress is a feeling of lost control, focuas on what you can control and you will feel better immediatly.

Internal Feelings

  • Positive Self-Talk

  • Positive Mental Attitude

  • Improving self-confidence and self-esteem

The way we think effects our behaviour e.g. if you continually think negative thoughts this will ultimately result in negative actions.

Simple techniques you can use include; using positive language; challenging any negative belief you hold; adopting a ‘can do’ rather than a ‘can’t do’ attitude and taking actions towards improving confidence and self-esteem.

The way we feel is so closely linked to the way we talk and act.

Eating

Diet plays a huge part in our body’s ability to fight disease. Food is our only source of energy and it is important to keep you blood sugar levels constant in order to have enough fuel to deal with the extra energy our body needs to cope with stress.

Eating regularly - a small meal often - is the best way to ensure that your body has all the energy it needs to cope with the day ahead when you are particularly stressed.

It is difficult for the body to digest food efficiently if your body is in flight or fight mode because all the blood flow and energy is in your muscles not your digestive system.

If you eat good clean natural food this will also help, anything processed will just put further stress on the body and not give you the nutrients your body needs.

Focus

Focus on all of the above advice and you will find you are immediately more able to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Keep it up and make a long term commitment to improve your lifestyle and not only will you see immediate improvements in your well-being you will also reduce your chances of stress related illness and disease in later life.

Start right now working on one of the techniques above.

Working on one at a time will help you reach your goal and give you higher chances of success.

So there you have it, my simple RELIEF Model!

If you like this you will love my new programme coming soon, I am just putting the finishing touches to it and I know it will be a big help to you and your fitness efforts.

I am of course open to feedback, if you have something health related that you are struggling to move forward with, get in touch and let me know. Maybe I can include it in my new free programme.

I hope you find some relief from stress over the coming weeks as we get into the Christmas flow.

I'm off to have a relaxing weekend catching up on things.

Kirsty xx


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