As many of you know, today is World Mental Health Day. In support of this, I decided to dedicate this week’s articles on the topic of stress.

Stress affects all of us and can manifest itself in so many different ways. The health repercussions can be immense, especially on our mental health and wellbeing.

So I decided to use stress as a focal point for this weeks posts, focusing on its impacts and ways you can relive yourself of its negative impact.

Are you feeling stressed?

I’d be surprised if you weren’t.

Between the growing demands of our jobs, raising a family while juggling finances, dealing with a global pandemic and the increasing need to stay connected all day every day, most of us feel stressed out more often than we like to admit.

Add to it a chronic lack of sleep, exercise or escapism and you have a recipe for disaster.

Stress kills and that’s no joke.

Let’s look at some of the worst negative side effects of stress and what you can do to stress less and relax more. 

The Negative Side Effects Of Stress

Stress will cause your blood pressure to rise.

You’ve experienced this when you found yourself hot and with a raging headache when you were in a particularly stressful situation.

Feeling that way from time to time is not so bad and can be managed.

The real danger is in the lower-level stress we all feel on a daily basis.

It can lead to hypertension and a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. 

Stress & Sleep

Next, let’s look at sleep.

When you’re stressed, you don’t sleep well. You may even find it hard to sleep at all.

Insomnia is a common side effect of living a stress-full life.

It doesn’t take long before you start to feel the negative side effects of not getting quality sleep.

You feel drained, unfocused, and things spiral downward from there quickly.

Your body can’t function well and recover without at least a few good hours of sleep per night. For optimal health, destress and aim for at least six to eight hours. 

If you need some tips on ways to get your day off to a great start, then try this post.

Getting On Top Of Things

Since stress is so hard on the body and mind, what can you do to reduce it?

The good news is quite a bit actually.

The most obvious solution is to go to the source of the stress and cut it out of your life.

Obviously that isn’t always very practical, or even doable. It can be easier said then done.

When things at work are getting on top of you, or money is tight and your struggling with the bills. Your home life isn’t great and your relationships are breaking down, life can be totally overwhelming.

When life throughs these curve balls at you, its vital to take time for yourself where you get to zone out and leave the stress behind for a short time.

Instead, try things to actively relax and destress when and where you can to counterbalance the unavoidable.

Go for a walk outside. Hit the gym for some exercise. Meditate. Learn some breathing exercises to help calm yourself down whenever you feel particularly stressed. Do some gardening. Get plenty of quality sleep. Eat a healthy diet and cut down on sugar and caffeine. 

Even the smallest activity which takes you away from your stresses can help refresh you and perhaps give a new perspective on your situation.

Sometimes we just need to step outside of the stress to see a way forward.

We’ll talk more about how you can stress less and love life throughout the week.

Being aware of the stress and how it is affecting you is a great first step. Now take a deep breath and go for a stroll around the block. Notice how much better you’re feeling already?

Tomorrow we will look at how we can review and release our stress but in the mean time make sure you sign up to for GardeningLove emails 💻👇🏼

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