Do you often feel stressed?

Stress is essentially a good and necessary function that has enabled us to get out of dangerous situations, especially in the past. In the past, stress was an acute reaction to immediate danger, such as a hungry lion. It was a short-term and transient stress response developed for our survival and followed by recovery. In today's society, we live with a different type of stress where killing animals is not the most common cause but it is about everyday stress, work, relationships, finances, separations and social situations as examples. Moreover, stress today is rarely acute and short-lived as it was in the past, but long-term and chronic. This long-term form of stress does not benefit us but is, on the contrary, downright harmful. We need to recover in order to cope, and without it, the body never gets the rest it needs to replenish its energy.

Signs that you are stressed

When you feel stressed, it takes a toll on your body and can cause many different symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms are, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, depression and anxiety, sleep problems, irritability, fatigue, stomach problems, muscle aches, constipation, heart palpitations, dizziness, pressure across the chest, headaches etc.

What often happens if you have chronic stress over a long period of time is that it leads to exhaustion and burnout. The road back from burnout can be long and requires a lot of work, so it's important to take the warning signs seriously and do something about your situation before it goes too far.

What happens in the body?

When we (our brain) perceive a situation as threatening, signals are sent to the sympathetic nervous system immediately and the body goes into "fight and flight". The sympathetic nervous system then directly influences our breathing, blood pressure and heart rate, i.e. functions we cannot control by will alone. This is done with the help of various stress hormones - cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenaline - which are secreted from the adrenal glands and released into the bloodstream. These hormones raise the heart rate and blood pressure and ensure that the muscles and brain are quickly supplied with energy in the form of sugar. We become more resistant to pain, digestion stops and all organs that are not needed to escape have less blood flow. These functions are very important for running away from dangerous animals or otherwise fighting for your life, as humans did in the past. In today's society we rarely run from deadly animals but the stress response in the body is the same, but for different reasons.

How do you prevent stress?

A key to preventing stress is to practice saying no, i.e. don't take on more tasks than you can handle and set clear boundaries. This applies, of course, both in your private life and at work. Prioritise recovery to give your body a rest and a chance to recharge, sleep is really important! Exercise and healthy eating are of course also important elements in preventing stress as they strengthen the body and build resilience, making you better able to cope with everyday life and all that it entails.

Lovely feel-good tips!

  • Surround yourself with people who make you happy!
  • Practice a form of exercise you enjoy
  • Eat healthy good food
  • Go for a massage
  • Prioritise good sleep
  • Do things you enjoy as often as you can
  • Listen to inspiring podcasts
  • Read a really good book
  • Make your home a cosy, lovely place to be
  • Get fresh air every day if possible
  • Walking
  • Listen to beautiful music  

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