Saturday, 30 May 2020

Stress, Mindfulness and Health

Stress is the key to our own survival. But too much stress is damaging to our health. Emotional stress and mental stress that stay with us for weeks, months or even years, will weaken our immune system and cause health problems such as fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, anxiety and even heart health problems.

Good Stress

Stress can be beneficial believe it or not? Stress is a burst of energy guiding you to all that needs to be achieved. For example without some form of stress we might not feel motivated enough to meet the goals we so desire, or to meet our daily life challenges. Stress also triggers our "flight or fight" responses, creating bodily functions such as increased heart rate and a laser like focus. This helps us to respond quickly to dangerous situations, such as jumping away from a moving oncoming obstacle in our direct pathway.

Too Much Stress

So how can we tell if our stress levels are becoming harmful to our health? We need to be able to spot the difference between good and bad stress and try and keep our immune system fully functional to maintain optimum health.

Look out for signs of placing your body under too much stress:

  • Constant headaches
  • Irritability
  • More anxiety, panic and anger attacks than normal
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Unable to concentrate or complete simple tasks
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pains and rapid heart beats
  • Emotional outbursts
Dealing with Stress


A very "fashionable" word of the moment, but what does mindfulness involve and how does it help our over-stressful lives. Mindfulness is living in the "now", the present moment. We learn to become aware of our thoughts, our surroundings and our breathing. By practising mindfulness we bring all our thoughts and feelings to the present moment rather than fearing the future, or trudging through old memories and ideas without implementing change or improvement.

Mindfulness may seem easy right? However it may not be as simple as it appears. Mindfulness is about practising the art of making space for ourselves, to think, to breathe and be aware of our own surroundings.

Practice Makes Perfect

In these stressful and uncertain times......this could be a perfect time to practice mindfulness

  • Find your perfect place. Somewhere you can relax and not be disturbed. A place that feels calm and peaceful
  • Set yourself just 10 minutes for the above video
  • Make sure you are comfortable and relax in your calm and peaceful place
  • Concentrate on your breathing to focus your awareness of the present moment
  • Notice when your mind starts to wander and bring it back to the calm sounds of the video and rhythm of your breathing
  • Do not worry about your wandering mind or the thoughts that enter your kind to yourself and bring your mind back to your breathing and the pleasant sounds of the video.
This is all you need to do and with regular practice you'll find mindfulness will become part of your daily routine. A calm mind and less stressful life will help bring you to the path of optimal health.


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