Every person has their tried and tested stress reduction tips. These can include exercise, supplements, stress releasing foods, lifestyle changing or a visit to the countryside.
Different things work for different people and different times.
What is stress, and what impact does it have on the body?
At its most simple definition, stress is “any intrinsic or extrinsic stimulus that evokes a biological response in your body,” says Surkitt.
Expanding upon that, Surkitt explains that it’s the “fight or flight response that gets you through job interviews, impromptu speeches, and awkward encounters with your ex.” It can be normal, healthy and helpful in situations like this — helping you overcome a short-term challenge you know you can handle.
When it’s constant, the situation is out of your control, and it’s overwhelming — well, that’s when it can have a negative impact on your mind and body. Physical stress may feel like “a tightening in the chest, a squeamish feeling in the gut” while others suffer from “headaches or tension in the shoulders and necks”.
What are some ways to cope with stress?
“A few deep breaths are the quickest, and cheapest form of stress relief available,” Surkitt tells us. Why? “By slowing and deepening your breath, you calm your nervous system, relax your chest and stomach, reduce tension in your muscles and allow fresh oxygen to your brain to assist in restoring calm, clarity and focus.”
Another simple technique? Drink water. “Our brain automatically turns off after 90 minutes; a glass of water will switch your brain back on.” Not only will it do this, but it obviously aids in hydration, and allows your mind and body to have a break from what you’re doing.
Why are ‘natural’ ways to cope with stress so beneficial?
“If you can find healthy daily practices to reduce stress, these will become new positive habits that allow you to reduce your stress naturally — creating sustainable, positive change.”
Surkitt also emphasises that natural ways are also often free — like going for a walk or run, taking deep breaths, drinking water, journaling or drawing, spending time in nature, dancing around your house or out with friends, meditating, listening to music that brings you joy, watching a comedy, catch up with a friend that inspires you or makes you laugh. Other ways include incorporating foods into your diet like “avocado, salmon, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate, turmeric” and drinking herbal tea like “chamomile, green tea or Melissa tea”.
On our Revitalise Escapes tours you will discover some new strategies and techniques for your 'Wellness Toolbox' or be reminded about some old favourites.