Stress Awareness Month (1st – 30th April 2017). Stress is a 21st century, complex health condition that so many of us hide from sight. Hidden because it could be seen as a weakness, a failing, and moreover, it’s not visible at first and we don’t even know we have it until we literally break down on the spot. There are many facets to leading a stress-free life and because the subject of stress is now taken more seriously, we have a chance of working on ourselves to better manage and balance our lives. That said, it is still something that people are ashamed to admit to, and if you are reading this and it feels relevant to you, there are lots of alternative healing processes to help prevent becoming stressed.

  • Acupuncture is seen to be very helpful in re-balancing your positive and negative energy levels. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and creates the release of neurochemical messenger molecules and these changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms which promote emotional wellbeing.
    Aromatherapy essential oils. These can be used in a bath, as a room aroma, or simply dabbing a specific oil on your body. Aromatherapy Associates have a fabulous range of de-stress products which contain essential properties such as lavender, Rose, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Bergamont, Chamomile. All known for their destressing actions.
    Full body massage is very important for de-stressing. We need touch, we need to feel appreciated and nurtured and if that is lacking, this can sometimes lead to a person feeling anxious and stressed. A full body aromatherapy massage can do wonders!
    Yoga takes you away from your worrisome world and keeps you still in your pose. Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.
    Mindfulness and Meditation. So important to learn these two disciplines. Spending a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation, and you can do this wherever you are. Meditation is considered a kind of mind-body complementary medicine that produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind because when you practice it you focus your attention and eliminate the jumbled up negative thoughts causing you to be anxious. It greatly benefits your perspective on stressful situations, and helps you to focus on the present.
  • Mindful eating, not mindless eating. Emotional eating is seen as something that we do to de-stress. Avoid the wrong foods if you want to avoid feeling stressed. Food has a beneficial effect on our mood and wellbeing. See The Food and Mood Handbook by Amanda Geary.

Being stressed is not easy, it’s not helpful and it’s counterproductive. Be brave and discuss this with your best friend, or your partner. Share your deep feelings on this – it really does help.

By Yvonne Wake (BSc MSc RPHNUTr) Wellbeing and Lifestyle Coach

Yvonne is a registered public health nutritionist, fitness expert, life coach, university lecturer and a Wellbeing and Lifestyle consultant with over thirty years of experience.

Find her on Twitter here: @YvonneWake_