It’s important to take time and recognise when you are stressed. Whether you take a day a week, an hour a day, or whenever you have a free moment make sure to take time to unwind and relax.
How to Recognise When You’re Stressed
Stress is often noticeable when it has developed to the point of panic and often even illness, such as increased blood pressure, susceptibility to heart disease and a drain on your immune system. However, there are warning signs of the early stages of stress, for example:
- Muscles are tense or sore
- Stomach tight, cramped, or aching
- Clenched hands or jaw
- Shallow breath
- Forgetting to breath
- Moodswings or strong emotions
- Inability to concentrate/easily distracted
- Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused
- Depression & anxiety
- Prone to accidents
- Frequent health issues
Just to name a few.
There are many techniques to relieve stress such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness and exercise, however, in some situations, these are not an option but using your senses can be a quick and simple way to clear away your stress.
No two people are the same meaning our stress responses are also different, it is important to practise and experiment in a controlled environment, something that brings on a small amount of stress but not unmanageable to the point of bringing you to your “fight, flight or freeze response” when trying to find what works.
There are six senses to work with when relieving stress, these are sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and movement.
- Try looking at an image or item you cherish
- If you’re at a desk add some flowers or plants to help liven up your space
- Look out a window nearby and focus on what you see
- Imagine/remember a moment or place that is peaceful and calm
- Sing or play a favourite tune
- Listen to comforting calming music
- Listen to the sounds of nature, of running water from a fountain or water feature
- Hang up wind chimes that relax you
- Light a scented candle or burn incense
- Try essential oils
- Focus on the scents from flowers or plants nearby
- Go outside and breathe in some fresh air
- Wear a favourite perfume or cologne.
If you have found a scent that works but you are in a situation where you can’t light a candle or spritz on perfume/cologne, apply some of the scents to a handkerchief that you keep in your bag or pocket so when you need it, it’s there.
- Chew sugarless gum
- Savour a small piece of dark chocolate
- Sip on a warm cup of coffee or tea or a nice refreshing cold drink
- Enjoy a piece of fruit
- Enjoy a healthy, crunchy snack
Slowly savouring a favourite flavour can be very relaxing, but sugar and other unhealthy snacks can add more stress.
- Cover yourself with a warm blanket
- Pet an animal
- Hold a comforting item
- Give yourself a hand or neck massage
- Wear comfortable/soft clothing
- Running on the spot or jumping
- Stretching, or rolling your head, hands or feet in circles
- Going for a short walk
- Using a stress ball
Movement is an excellent way to relieve stress if you are someone that tends to shut down under too much pressure.
These are only a few suggestions if you can identify which sensory technique works for you then experiment with different stimulants, you will know when you have found the right one. If you are stuck for ideas of what might work for you, think back to what worked when you were a child or what works for your loved ones, even observing others when they are in a stressful situation and what they do to relieve some of that stress can also give you an idea or you could ask people what they do to relieve stress.
It is very important to try each method and find which one work before going into a high-pressure situation, and once you have found the one that works, adapt it so you can use it at any time and then practice it at all points of stress until it becomes a habit.
We also have a Calming Stress Relief Remedy you can find here.
As well as an article on Lifestyle Changes to Help with Adrenal Fatigue, High Cortisol Levels and Anxiety here.