Stress has always been a part of human nature. It is the sensory cue that told our ancestors whether to fight a bear or run from a bear (fight or flight). However, in 2019, where there are no bears in a natural habitat, our response to stress is still just as strong. We are more stressed out than ever before with stress being one of the main causes of illness both physical and mental.
April is Stress Awareness Month, and I have had the chance to catch up with Karen Newby from Alchemy Super Blends to share her thoughts and advice on why stress is so harmful to the body and what we can be doing to support ourselves.
What do you think is the main trigger for stress for you?
The life juggles! Balancing work, children, seeing dear friends and our general 24/7 lifestyle. Work now follows me everywhere via my phone – luckily, I love my job, it doesn’t really feel like I’m working, so that is an advantage, however as a business owner it does take its toll when I’m still working on my laptop at 9pm at night or thinking about work when I’m with my children…the guilt then manifests!
Stressed out? Head to Alchemy Super Blends Stress Reducing Retreat this May.For 10% discount use code: RETREAT10
Do you think we put too much stress on ourselves?
I think technology has a lot to answer for. Technology has made us so connected but we also live in an age where we’ve never felt so alone. Don’t get me wrong I think it is hugely positive in so many ways – especially if you have your own business – but screen time can take up so much of your time if nothing else! Time that could be spent in more productive ways. The blue light is classified by the WHO as a carcinogen! It can increase our stress hormone release via the retina of our eye which is why it’s so hard to sleep if you’ve been in front of your screen late at night…
3) What 3 tips do you follow to reduce your stress?
I always say to my patients in my clinic that I can’t do much about their external stress, but I can help the body deal with it better. This is what my Retreat in May focuses on – how to become more resilient to stress. I like to remember that stress can be a positive force if you can adapt to it.
- Caffeine: If you drink caffeine, have it with food. This lessens the metabolic effect dramatically. Caffeine increases the ‘fight or flight’ response so keep it to a minimum or choose a time of day when you really need it and have with food.
- Cook: Doesn’t have to take ages (lots of quick recipes on my Karen Newby Nutrition Facebook page). I’m a big believer that food = love. Taking time to nourish ourselves with more plants and more food in season helps to nourish our guts reduce our sugar cravings and to help us develop a deep-rooted sense of happiness that comes from a healthy gut. Reason is that serotonin (the ‘happiness’ brain chemical) is mostly made in the gut. Cooking for friends and family also equates to community and boosting our limbic system which all helps to calm our nervous system.
- Sleep: Easier said than done for many. Get rid of your phone in your bedroom. Buy an alarm clock instead. Even having a phone in your room even on airplane mode still makes us THINK about work! Magnesium – nature’s tranquilizer – from green leafy veg for supper or as Epsom Bath salts in your evening bath.
What one change would you recommend people take to help minimize their daily stress?
Take time for a proper breakfast! Eating more at this time of day, more protein and good fats, greatly effects our blood sugar balancing. If you just have tea and toast (which so many of us do!) then this causes a spike of blood sugar followed by a crash – it is at these crashes that we can start to feel more anxious and irritable and less able to deal with tricky clients or work presentations! It also helps to minimise the need for so much caffeine which can affect our sleep. Lack of sleep is also a stressor…
Stress is everywhere – it exciting, it keeps us on our toes, however, when you are imbalanced and you start to get stressed out it is a big issue.
Use this month to reflect on what the main stresses are in your life.
What can you do to reduce them?
What can you do to support yourself? What can you do to present your best you to the situation?
Head over to Alchemy Super Blends to find your right elixir to support you and the stresses you face and be sure to check out the Stress Reducing May Retreat – use RETREAT10 for a cheeky 10% discount!
Want more tips on stress awareness and managing stress? Try Walking Meditation and other articles here