How your body responds to stress

Stress is best defined as an emotional and physical state where the body is getting ready for the "fight or flight" response.

During the fight or flight response the body releases adrenaline, experiences palpitations and increased sweating that lasts until the perceived threat is over, or until the body falls into exhaustion and can no longer sustain this state. The stress can cause a lack of sleep, inability to focus, and changes in our eating habits.

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Self Improvement

Stress is a useful warning sign that we may be pushing it too far. It is important to learn to recognize and respond to it.

  • Becoming aware of what triggers a stress response can help us avoid or deal with them.
  • Look after your body physically to build resilience to stress. Eating sensibly, sleeping well and taking regular breaks can help our bodies function better.
  • Make healthy changes to your routine. If certain people cause us to feel uncomfortable, perhaps reduce the amount of time we see them.
  • Engage in activities that make you happy. Perhaps you have a hobby you can incorporate into your life.
  • Say no when necessary. If we spread ourselves too thinly, the quality of our relationships and work may suffer.
  • Practice mindful deep breathing. Breathe in for a count of 4 through the nose, hold for 2, and out through the mouth for a count of 6.
  • Engage in informal mindfulness. When you're out walking for example, listen to birdsong or feel the warmth of the sun.
  • Keep evergreens or use your other senses to support feelings of relaxation.

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