Fast fixes for the relief of stress and anxiety
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Judy Reeves RN, MBACP
17th July, 20140 Comments
The physical symptoms of stress are a result of your thinking. Negative or anxious thoughts create anxious feelings which induce physical responses of tension, fear, panic and sometimes anger. These physical responses occur when your brain interprets your anxious thoughts and decides you are ‘in danger.’ e.g. a mammoth is approaching!
Your brain has sent signals for the body to release adrenaline which gives you the energy needed to fight or flee from the danger. Sometimes the fight or flight response is delayed and may occur after the stressful period. So it might happen when you least expect it which can be alarming.
It’s helpful to remember that however awful you feel, it is a temporary state. You can reduce the symptoms yourself and make them disappear.
You can make yourself feel better and back in control by getting rid of the fight or flight response. Try the following two things:
Focus on your breath and learn to breathe differently - calmly and slowly. This is a fast way to get rid of the feelings that overwhelm you, and helps you to gain back control. Use this whenever you are in a stressful situation. This is why it works: You are giving your brain the message that ‘the danger is over, and I am relaxed.’ So the brain stops the release of adrenaline and the symptoms subside.
Take physical exercise. This is a quick and effective strategy to reduce the physical symptoms of stress. During exercise you burn up adrenaline and so get rid of tension in the body. The lungs expand fully as you breathe deeply, more oxygen circulates, the mind clears and after exercise the body relaxes.
Now you know that you CAN make yourself feel better quickly.
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