Being a mum is stressful. I think that’s a statement any mother can relate to. It’s not just the hard times – where teething takes hold, or they put your phone down the toilet. It’s the good times – like when they start to grow up and they have to pick the perfect university. It comes with the job. But stress isn’t fun. And I’ve had my fair share of it this year and, with a New Year and a new start coming up, I’m going to make it a bit of a New Year’s resolution and stress less…
Stress is an increasingly common health issue in modern society and is often incredibly difficult to deal with. Considering just how many negative effects stress is reported to have on the human body, you would think that limiting the amount of stress you’re under would be a vitally important to everyone’s daily schedules.
However, most people just don’t realise how damaging prolonged exposure to stress can be. In order to remedy this, we have compiled this list of five important reasons to avoid stress with advice on how to stay on an even keel.
Stress can take a massive toll on relationships you’re already in, such as with your spouse, family and friends. It can also limit your ability to make new relationships.
To address this, make sure you do all you can to reduce stress. If work is getting you down then speak to your superiors about how to lessen your burdens or consider implementing new systems which could make your day easier to manage. If the source of stress is at home, take time out to get some respite and think of changes you can implement to tackle any recurrent stressors.
Stress has a massive effect on our ability to concentrate and complete tasks to the best of our abilities. This is due to the way in which stress triggers our ‘fight or flight’ response and limits our ability to really pay attention.
Boost your concentration by focusing on one task at a time. Many people find relaxation techniques such as yoga or breathing exercises beneficial, but even something as simple as getting to the gym once or twice and week and turning off all phones and gadgets can help you refocus your mind.
If you feel like you’d enjoy looking a little younger, then you have a great reason to avoid stress. Prolonged exposure to stress alters the fundamental way our brains approach and think about things and will also affect our exterior appearance.
Combined with the fact that smiling naturally lifts the face and makes us look younger than we really are, there are plenty of aging-related reasons to avoid stress. Start smiling more and avoid frowning!
If you find yourself falling ill regularly then it could be because stress is hampering your immune system’s ability to function properly. If this is the case, you may want to contact Benenden’s stress counselling helpline, which will provide you with help and advice at any time and with no wait.
Finally, studies show that stress really affects our ability to recall details and events in the past. This in turn has been linked with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
For the sake of your memory and long-term health, avoid stress as much as possible and seek help wherever possible. Brain training games can also help improve your memory and strengthen your mental health.