Using self care to reduce stress levels

When life is busy it's easy to forget that taking time out for yourself is vital for your health and well-being. In a society where we all rush around at full speed it can be easy to get caught up in the fast living rollercoaster but what happens when it all gets a little too much? 

Our body reacts to stress whether you want it to or not. We have 2 components to the autonomic nervous system which controls our bodies; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Put in simple terms, the parasympathetic element controls the things we do without thinking, such as our heartbeat, breathing and digestion. On the flip side, the autonomic nervous system controls our 'fight or flight' response which kicks in when we are stressed, making our heart rate and breathing rate increase. This response also makes our blood pressure increase and directs blood to the muscles to prepare them to react quickly if needed.

Used short term, the fight or flight response can be useful, for instance if you need to jump out of the way of a moving car or you need to outrun a lion (or in Georgina's case, she ever sees a woolly mammoth!), but prolonged periods like this will have a detrimental effect to health, hence why reducing stress is so important.

But how do we reduce our stress?

It's really simple: start today and take some time out just for you. Take 10 minutes a day to sit and be still, read a book or enjoy a cup of tea. This can help us to be mindful and relax. Even a short period of time is often enough to rest your body and allow it to reset. There are 24 hours in every day, and we all have time for just 10 mins down time. The key is to make this a priority rather than something you put off day after day. It helps to see this as an essential part of your self-care, like keeping fit, to help our bodies stay healthy.

Here at Nene Valley Osteopathy we use Osteopathy and Naturopathy to help you cope with stress. Hands on treatment can help you reduce muscular tension from elevated stress levels, and naturopathy is a very useful tool to help you identify key aspects in your lifestyle that can be exacerbating your stress levels. What will you do today to ensure you get time for you?
Do you get enough sleep?
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