If you reduce stress levels, you will be able to minimize or even maybe eradicate the negative impacts that stress has on your life and your health. Stress wreaks havoc in our society and in learning how to deal with it, fight against it, you will allow yourself to avoid its tricky traps.
Stress used to be one of the best survival instincts of humankind, keeping our ancestors alert and always on the lookout. The answer to any outside stimulus would trigger an adrenal response, the flight or flight mechanism. Our nervous system hasn’t evolved much since then, and although stressors have changed, the response has not. As we evolve we also develop the ability to think negative thoughts which trigger a stress response to a non existent threat.
What Stress Does to Us
Acute and chronic stress affect both the body and the brain.
In case of acute stress, when what as perceived as a threat is gone, our Central Nervous System (CNS) should signal to our body that everything is back to normal. When it doesn’t, we stay in a perpetual state of alert and can experience anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, and/or eating disorders. it also affects our cardiovascular, digestive, muscular, and immune systems.
Chronic stress increases the level of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine which affect many brain functions. A constant high level of cortisol kills brain cells and is responsible in part for memory loss and other mental problems.
How to Reduce Stress Levels
Many people who do not experience chronic stress would tell you to breathe and get over it. Even though just breathing is a good idea, there are other ways to reduce stress levels:
- Relaxation techniques,such as meditation and yoga allow you to be present in the moment, turn inward in order to understand your body, breathe, calm down.
- Reduce coffee and alcohol as part of a healthier lifestyle including sleeping more, eating better, moving more.
- Pamper yourself, treat yourself to a massage, not just once in awhile.
- Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) increases the endorphin levels (the hormone of happiness), resulting in a feeling of well being and stimulates the creation of serotonin which balances the mood. WBC also decreases the level of cortisol released in your bloodstream.
From all the tips on how to reduce stress levels, you don’t have to pick and choose just one, you can combine several of them for a better result. A good laugh with friends, a massage, a yoga session or a jump in a cryochamber are amongst the ways that can help you live a stress-free life.
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