Stress is so common that it has become a way of life for so many of us. It however, isn’t always bad, in small does, it can actually help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. BUT when you’re constantly under fire (stress) your mind and body pays the price.
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened. When you sense danger, whether real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or more commonly known as the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energitic and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships and your quality of life.
The body doesn’t distinguish between physical and psycological threats. When you’re stressed over a busy schedule, an argument with a friend, a traffic jam or a mountain of bills, your body reacts just as strongly as if you were facing a life-or-death situation. If you have a lot of responsibilities and worries, your emergency stress response may be “on” most of the time. The more your body’s stress system is activated, the easier it is to trip and the harder it is to shut off.
Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems. Chronis stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise your blood pressure, suppres the immune system, increase you risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
What Causes stress?
The situations and pressures that cause stress are know as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you or forces you to adjust can be stressful. What causes stress depends on your perception of it. Something that’s stressful to you may not be to someone else – they may even enjoy it.
Learn how to manage Stress
You may feel like the stress in your life is out of control but you can always control the way you respond. Managing stress is all about taking charge; taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment and the way you deal with problems. Stress management invloves changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself and making time for rest and relaxation
Learn How to relax
You can’t completely elimnate stress from your life but you can control how much it affects you. Relaxation techniques activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is opposite of the stress response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity. They also increase your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure.
Regular use of a hot tub has been shown to be an excellant technique to combat stress. The warm soothing waters work to relax your body as well as your mind and it can also relieve those nagging pains that add to your levels of stress throughout the day. Finding time for yourself seems easier when are looking forward to that “soak” in your personal excape that’s nestled into your backyard retreat. The serenity of that spot is also an ideal place to spend time with loved ones discussing the days challanges and plan for tomorrows adventures. Setting aside that fifteen mintue relaxtion period on a regular basis can be one of the best time management practices of your life.
Another wonderful relaxation moment can be spent in a sauna. The heat (and steam) of a traditonal Finnish sauna can put you into a state of ultimate relaxation while pampering your body with one of the best treatments known to man. While your body is being heated, your mind can unwind from the days hectic activities. You slip into a blistful state of relaxation and calmness that allows the stress to literally melt away from your body. During that time of relaxation, your body is ridding itself of dangerous toxins that are accumulated throughout your everyday travel through life. You provide a cardio workout while buring over 300 calories a 30 minute session.
All of this benefits can also be found in the comfort of the new “far infrared” saunas that are available for those who prefer the “cooler” saunas. There is some belief that the FIR saunas actually cause a deeper sweat because of their ability to penitrate your body deeper.
Regardless of whether it is a tradition Finnish sauna or a far-infrared sauna, the overall health benefit coupled with the stress relief provided by the quiet times of relaxation makes the sauna a great choice for stress reduction.
The ultimate choice to relax and de-stress is yours. Take the time and enjoy life.