Stress is most often defined as a person’s physiological and psychological reaction to stimuli from the environment. The reaction is the personal experience of stress, primarily the emotions that stress causes in an individual. How we react to stress depends on our experience, personal capacities, current mood, and many other characteristics of our personality.
On the physical level, stress is a physiological process by which our body responds to a threat or danger. When our brain evaluates some circumstances as threatening (in any sense, physical or psychological), it raises all its capacities to the maximum with an increase in vigilance and attention. Though it is a defensive mechanism and our bodies are programmed to react in such a manner, long-term exposure to stress-related circumstances and a constant state of hormonal overflow can affect the body and mind. The consequences can vary depending on the type and level of stress we experience, but the chance for recovery is more than possible. In the text below, we’ll discuss how to regain your senses and “go back to normal” after such a turbulent period.
We cannot always prevent or avoid stressful situations, but what we can do is develop an awareness of them and do something about them. Our body is crying out for regeneration and recovery, so what can we do about it?
Start waking up with stretching exercises
One of the ways to recover from stress is to stretch in the morning, as it allows the body to regenerate more effectively and it also helps combat upcoming stress. It has a tremendous effect on your sleeping cells and muscles, and it won’t take up much of your precious time. Two to three minutes of stretching as soon as you stand up will get the blood rushing through your blood vessels and make you feel like you’re about to fly.
Oxygen is exchanged between cells and accumulated tension in all parts of the body is released. If you feel tension during the day when you are at your workplace, try to get up more often and stretch by raising your arms above your head as high as possible, then bend down and touch your toes. Then lift your toes up and hold them, then relax and repeat the exercise several times, preferably until you feel the tension loosen. The exercise will help you reduce the effects of long-term exposure to chronic stress.
Seeking professional help
Treatment centers have been popping up across countries due to their necessity in fighting post-stress symptoms and the consequences of long-term stress exposure. These treatment centers have proven to be extremely effective in allowing patients to fully recover and regain their health and mental well-being. As the folks at socalsunrisemh.com explain, the centers create a compassionate environment allowing the gradual recovery of each patient. It gives you enough space to go at your pace and slowly but steadily overcome all the different factors that have affected your life for so long. Recovery centers of such kind often have a whole team of experts ready to meet your needs and demands. From doctors to nurses, and staff members well-acquainted with new methods of treatment, you’ll have the chance to completely regain your mental well-being.
One of the best ways to cope with post-stress symptoms and regain your senses is through meditative long walks. Walking in itself has a beneficial effect on the human body. Include in it the methods of a meditative walk, which are the basics of proper breathing, and you will do your body a great service in the fight against the symptoms induced by stress after a certain period. If possible, it is best to take a walk in nature, through the forest or next to some running water, because this way, other senses are involved and your body enters the stage where tension is gradually released.
A long and easy walk helps a lot in relieving stress and has a beneficial effect on many diseases; it increases blood flow through blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces nervous tension. A meditative walk differs from an ordinary one in that during a meditative walk, the emphasis is on breathing while walking. As you walk, count the steps, then match your breathing according to the number of steps. Inhale for four steps, and exhale for four steps. You repeat this exercise for several minutes, and the more the better. Gradually, when you feel that you can, increase the length of inhalation and exhalation from four to six, then to eight steps. This is an exercise that you can do while going to work if you leave just a few minutes earlier and decide to replace at least part of the journey with a beneficial walk instead of driving a car or bus.
Breathing exercises for panic attacks
A common consequence of burnout due to chronic stress is panic attacks. Although it may sound incredible, it has been scientifically proven that breathing exercises have a positive effect on relieving the body of tension. A few short breathing exercises can help your body feel like a good massage. Relax for a few minutes and do not pay attention to anything else but your breathing. In order for the breathing exercises to be effective, you need to breathe slowly and evenly, deeply, and inhale through your mouth, then slowly exhale through your nose. Exhalation should be longer than inhalation. You may find it difficult at first to concentrate only on breathing, but over time you get used to it and it becomes a routine. To begin with, you can count your exhale and inhale. With even and uniform breathing, your body enters the relaxation phase, which is very conducive to releasing tension and returning the body to balance.
Change your diet
Balanced nutrition plays an important role for the organism as a whole, and it affects the level of stress reduction that accumulates in the body. There are foods that are scientifically proven to affect your mood and are recommended for people who are often under stress or have been exposed to stress for long periods of time.
Leafy green vegetables are rich in folic acid, which has a positive effect on people’s moods. Therefore, it is recommended to have chard, spinach, lentils, and green beans on your plate at least once a week. In addition, foods that are rich in selenium raise mood levels and reduce the effects of stress, and it is abundantly found in stone fruits and seafood. So give yourself a breather and treat yourself to a handful of almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or something from the depths of the sea.
Laughter is the best medicine, an old saying very well known to the majority. Laughter has been proven to trigger hormones, which affect the body positively and give you a sense of euphoria and happiness. Laughter is also known to be beneficial for your overall mood and can help you effectively combat stress-induced symptoms. Therefore, relax and laugh more.
We highly recommend you surround yourself with people who are generally more enthusiastic, avoid stress-inducing environments, and rid yourself of any stress triggers. Change your surroundings, travel, enjoy the small things in life and make sure to be more optimistic.