At work, at home, on a daily basis… there are many stressful situations. Stress is also one of the most frequently encountered disorders in the French. Here are some tips for fighting stress using natural and effective methods!
Understanding stress to better manage it
What is stress ?
Stress is often experienced as unpleasant on a daily basis because it manifests itself regularly in exhaustion, irritability or discouragement. Fighting stress therefore becomes a priority for many of us. Yet, from an evolutionary standpoint, stress is vital. It's about a normal, automatic physiological reaction that the body puts in place to any situation it considers dangerous or threatening. Stress is thus essential because it allows us adapt to our environment pushing us to flee or fight the danger. Hans Seyle, the pioneer of stress research, called this reaction: general adaptation syndrome (GAS).
The causes of stress
The causes of stress or "stressors" are numerous and can be classified into two broad categories: those relating to biological stress (hunger, cold, heat, noise, thirst, etc.) and those relating to psychological stress (bereavement, socio-professional pressure, financial difficulties, break-up…). On the other hand, each stressor is not experienced in the same way depending on the individual. Indeed, the body's responses to these factors are always dependent on the person's perception. For example, an oral presentation, may be experienced as a stressful situation for some, but not for others.
The different phases of stress
From a physiological point of view, stress can be broken down into three phases: the alarm phase, the resistance phase and the exhaustion phase.
The alarm phase : In this phase, the organization's objective is to mobilize all your energy and direct it to organs necessary for fight or flight, namely the heart, muscles and brain. In order to set up this response, the body mainly secretes two hormones: the adrenaline and cortisol. These help prepare the body for danger by speeding up the heart rate and breathing. Also, thinking, alertness and visual acuity are greatly increased.
Resistance phase : If the stress persists, the body enters the resistance phase. In this phase, the body sets up several mechanisms in order to find a new balance. It then produces more than cortisol that rises and accumulates in the body. It also significantly secretes several neurotransmitters : in particular Dopamine ("starter" molecule, motivation) and serotonin ("brake" molecule, good humor and well-being). Thus, at this stage stress is still a stimulating reaction beneficial for the organism allowing it to react to situations likely to endanger it.
The exhaustion phase : In case of prolonged persistence of the stressor, the organism exhaust his strength and enters the phase of exhaustion. In this phase, rates serotonin and dopamine collapse but cortisol is still high, before collapsing in turn, generating chronic fatigue, irritability and even potentially a depressive state.
The consequences of stress on health
While stress is an essential reaction to our survival, it can quickly become harmful and have serious repercussions on health if it becomes chronic or cannot be controlled. Indeed, stress can promote the appearance of many ailments such as insomnia, headaches, eating disorders, musculoskeletal pain, skin conditions or digestive problems.
Also, the massive production of cortisol by the body causes intense disturbances of the immune system, as well as the metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins and impairment of brain neurons. In this sense, chronic stress would promote the onset and / or worsen the development of several pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, psychiatric disorders, type 2 diabetes or autoimmune pathologies.
How to naturally fight against stress?
Finally, in order not to be invaded and to fight effectively against the bad stress, natural solutions exist! Here are some solutions to adopt to reduce the negative impact of stress and anxiety on our daily comfort.
Breathing and relaxation techniques against stress and anxiety
In the event of anxiety, stress or anxiety, our heart rate and breathing speed up. The breath then becomes shorter, which will have the effect increase our anxiety and therefore speed up our breathing etc. It is therefore a real vicious circle which falls into place. However, as soon as we become aware of it and focus our attention on our breath to make it slower, more peaceful, inner calm sets in again. Thus, resort to relaxation and breathing techniques such as abdominal breathing, cardiac coherence ou sophrology exercises allows to fight against stress and to apprehend the situation with a lot more perspective and serenity.
Yoga and meditation to better manage daily stress
In the same sense, La meditation and yoga are two activities that help to fight effectively against stress, tension and anxiety. Intrinsically linked, these two ancestral disciplines are at the base of various traditional cultures, in particular that of Indian culture. Meditation and yoga are activities that invite us to ourselves refocus on ourselves and lcatch facing our daily concerns. Yoga is not only a discipline, but also a body-mediated "therapy". It allows us to reconnect with our body and our feelings to soothe tensions and fight against everyday stress.
Physical activity and sport
Even though it is sometimes difficult to motivate to play sports when we are stressed, doing enough regular physical activity helps us relieve the mental load and relieve the tensions accumulated during the day. Indeed, sport triggers in the body the production of hormones called endorphins. These lead to a real feeling of well-being and serenity and even euphoria. Sport also forces people to focus on something else than his mental ruminations, his work or his domestic troubles. It allows you to have moments for yourself, outside the worries of everyday life, in order to approach them afterwards with more serenity and objectivity.
The importance of a good diet to fight stress
To fight against stress and anxiety eat well every day is essential, both for our body and for our morale. Indeed, micronutrition offers today a new look at the management of stress and anxiety, allowing curb the abuse of psychotropic drugs in some cases.
Certain nutrients actually make it possible to reduce the manifestations of stress and to attenuate its deleterious effects on the organism. For example in case of chronic stress, increased cortisol leads to massive urine leakage of magnesium which in turn will increase vulnerability to stress and lead to a vicious cycle. Supplementing with magnesium can therefore be beneficial in the event of a period of stress in order to restore nutritional imbalances.
Also have a good intake of amino acids (in particular in tyrosine and in tryptophan), in vitamin C and vitamin B6, B9 et B12, necessary to the manufacture of neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin) is important for fight against stress and overwork. The vitamin B6 is particularly important in case of stress because it plays a key role in the assimilation and use of magnesium by the body.
Use anti-stress plants
Plants, widely used in phytotherapy are an abundant source of benefits and in particular can be of great help in go through times of stress and anxiety (exams, family difficulties…). They thus form the basis of many food supplements intended to alleviate excessive tensions related to stress. Indeed, some so-called anti-stress plants as the Rhodiola, Valerian or melissa to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Also other plants likeHawthorn are famous for itto overcome nervous agitation by limiting physical manifestations of anxiety such as heart palpitations or muscle spasms.
Essential oils, a help against stress
Extracted from the leaves, flowers or roots of fresh plants, essential oils are composed of concentrates of active ingredients. Many essential oils are thus used in aromatherapy to soothe the body in case of stress or anxiety. Indeed, rich essential oils in linalool (as'essential oil Small grain bigarade andtrue lavender essential oil) or those containing esters (as'Roman Chamomile essential oil) thanks to their assets rebalance the nervous system and naturally relieve stress and anxiety.
Food supplements to relieve stress
At the same time, if you are suffering from stress, you can also turn to food supplements dedicated to the management of stress and anxiety. They can help you on an ad hoc basis to ease your tensions, regain some peace of mind and limit the undesirable effects of stress on the body. They obviously do not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, but can provide excellent contributions in active ingredients and very appreciable results on the physical and emotional sphere. They are generally composed of Rhodiola, GABA, tryptophan,Hawthorn, magnesium, vitamin B6 or other ingredients with similar or complementary virtues.