That sounds easier said than done, though, with a daily life full of commitments and strict time schedules. It’s no surprise then that stress can rear its ugly head both at work and at home. However, there are definitely ways we can positively influence the incidence and impacts of stress. Here we explore some of the strategies we can employ.
What exactly is stress? Stress is essentially a completely normal reaction to our everyday modern lives. Each kind of change calls us to adjust in turn to the new situation. The stresses arising from this can influence us on emotional and physical levels, but also in our behaviour. Throughout the millennia, these reactions are what helped us survive: our hormones, cardiovascular system, breath, and nervous system all responded in their own ways to “fight or flight” situations.
Even though we’re no longer in a daily struggle for survival, our physical reactions inherited through evolution are still the same. Our breathing and heart rates increase, blood pressure soars, and the muscles tense up. The body secretes the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, to help us stay alert and ready for action. Cortisol activates the body’s metabolic processes and ensures we have enough energy to be as focused and strong as possible.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing Stress is not necessarily detrimental for our body, as long as it’s short-lived. In fact, stress can even help bring the best out of us: it kicks our systems into overdrive and ensures we perform to the best of our abilities. However, when this kind of stress sticks around and stress hormone levels are consistently high, it can become harmful to us. This can play out in symptoms throughout the body, but as we’ve become so used to stressful states, it’s become harder to spot the signs that we’ve reached our breaking point. This could manifest in difficulties concentrating or remembering things, mood swings, problems sleeping, or general unrest. And if you’re feeling sad, depressed, or unmotivated, you’re probably just in dire need of some downtime.
Learning the art of relaxation It can be hard to tear ourselves away from our daily routines, but this is sometimes the only lasting way to decrease stress levels and fill up our energy reserves. Our retreats at Hotel Post Bezau last at least three days, which helps guests clear their heads and raise their physical performance for the long term. Nutrition, exercise, and restful sleep are equally as important as the treatments at the Susanne KaufmannTM Spa. Thanks to our “Wellness Concierge”, each guest receives a custom-made programme so that they need worry about nothing else throughout their time here – the perfect ingredients for totally switching off.
What strategies are out there for dealing with stress? There are thousands of articles and books out there about how we can best handle stress. This covers meditation, sport, bioresonance, psychotherapy, as well as changes to nutrition or sleep. But essentially we can summarise it all in three approaches which can help us reduce stress:
It’s important to consciously recognize when we’re feeling down, or that we have certain fears. Often this can be as simple as taking a moment to collect yourself, breathing deeply, and taking a stroll in the fresh air. It’s also important to let go, as constantly being in control is both draining and stressful.
Get rid of external stress factors The external causes of stress can include not only situations, people, and events, but also noise or over-stimulation. It’s important for each person to find out their own personal stress triggers, and in turn reduce them. Nevertheless, we can’t always have every situation and detail under our control, and even when all external stress factors are dealt with, we might still feel stressed. What’s more, even if we change everything on the outside, we can still fall back into our old patterns of thought and stress can rear its head again. This ultimately means that the changes have to come from within.
Targeted stress management Hence, external pressures don’t necessarily cause stress. Whether or not stress arises is determined by our inner reactions, our inner attitude, and how we interpret the situation. Consequently the goals of stress management should be:
With this in mind, classic time management is important for keeping stress down: sufficient planning and prioritizing – and the freedom to simply say “no” sometimes. If we play to our own strengths and guard against negative thoughts, we learn to better manage stressful situations. The right work-life balance can make room for recovery phases and time to ourselves. And if we can incorporate sport or soft exercise into this, our bodies can benefit too.
Movement against stress Regular exercise and movement are the simplest and at the same time very effective stress killers. Just a little bit fresh air or a few swims in the cold water work to prevent stress. Mental well-being will certainly also improve. If you want to stay calm even in challenging times, you should look for a sport that replenishes your energy reserves as a preventive measure.