Stress has become an unavoidable and damaging aspect of many people’s lives. With high stress levels taking a toll on our physical and mental well-being, managing stress is becoming a key part of our down time. And knowing how to relieve stress and avoid unhealthy habits as a result of our stress levels is something that many of us don’t quite get to grips with.
In this quick guide we’re going to look at some techniques to reduce stress using natural methods, and avoid reaching for the bottle of wine or the junk food.
And because relieving stress sometimes needs a little help, we’re also going to look at how you can use CBD to relieve stress as a natural supplement.
The Physical Effects of Stress
Stress triggers a complex series of physiological responses in the body, known as the stress response. This response is characterised by the release of stress hormones, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and tensed muscles.
Studies also show that prolonged exposure to stress can lead to negative effects on physical health, including cardiovascular diseases, weakened immune system, and gastrointestinal issues. (study one, study two).
The Mental and Emotional Effects of Stress
Stress not only affects our bodies but also takes a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. Chronic stress can lead to an array of mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and mood swings.
The constant pressure and overwhelm can disrupt cognitive function, impair concentration, and negatively impact decision-making abilities. As a knock on-effect of this, our stress levels can impact our personal relationships, energy levels and even our professional performance.
This is another reason why understanding the mental and emotional symptoms of stress is essential in effectively managing and reducing its effects.
What this means for us is that recognising and addressing the physical symptoms of stress is crucial in maintaining our overall well-being.
Fitness Practices for Stress Relief
Choosing healthy lifestyle practices is a fundamental aspect of stress relief, and the best way to both manage stress and avoid negative practices.
While we might not feel motivated to go to the gym, cook a healthy meal or do some meditation, the truth is these practices can improve mood and mental health in the longer term.
Some of the best lifestyle practices for stress relief include:
- Running or jogging
- Working out in the gym
- Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi
- Team sports such as football, netball or softball
- Competitive sports such as tennis or squash
Regular physical exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones. Basically, engaging in cardiovascular exercises can contribute to stress reduction and promote overall well-being.
Food and Diet for Stress Relief
Another lifestyle improvement is to focus on creating good food. While many people reach for the freezer meal or take away, these foods are often high in processed ingredients, salt and sugar, all of which exacerbate our stress hormones in the long run.
Believe it or not, there is some evidence that cooking actually helps to reduce stress. It can also be great for social engagement and is certainly better for you than relying on packet based meals.
To keep your blood pressure down, and avoid health related issues such as diabetes or heart disease , focus on home cooked food. This means a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fresh meat or proteins. Avoid faddy diets, or products that claim to be healthy, low fat or anything else buzzwordy.
Good food provides the essential nutrients needed to support the body during times of stress.
Mind-Body Techniques to Reduce Stress
Harnessing the power of the mind-body connection is a highly effective method for stress relief.
Meditation, a practice dating back thousands of years, provides a way to calm the mind and achieve a state of mental clarity and relaxation.
Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or alternate nostril breathing, can produce immediate calming effects by activating the body’s relaxation response.
Mindfulness, the practice of being fully present in the current moment, enhances self-awareness and helps individuals manage stress by shifting their focus away from worries and anxieties.
Social Support for Stress
Fostering social connections and seeking support from others play a vital role in managing and alleviating stress, and improving our mental health. While there are many reports of a friendship famine among many people, despite our reliance on communication, spending time with friends and family can do wonders for managing stress.
Having people who we can relate to, explain our problems too and even simply spend time with and forget our worries can have a huge impact on stress reduction.
Whether this is a family member, work colleague, friend or colleague or even members of sports or hobby clubs, social engagement is important. If you’re lacking a social life, take time to build it to help mitigate the effects of stress.
Using CBD to Relieve Stress
CBD, short for cannabidiol, has gained recognition as a potential natural remedy for stress relief. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD works by interacting with the body to minimise and reduce the stress response and improve emotional well-being.
Scientific research has shown that CBD may have various benefits as an antidepressant, and may also have neuroprotective properties. In short, it might make a promising option for individuals seeking stress relief.
One of the good things about CBD is that it is a natural compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Many CBD supplements are free from the chemicals that prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical solutions might contain.
While the research into CBD is still in the early stages, the research does suggest that side effects from CBD are very rare, which makes it a useful alternative for many people.
However, if you do have any issues with mental health, or you’re using other medication or drugs, you should definitely consult a medical professional before relying on CBD for stress relief.
CBD Products for Stress Management
CBD products come in various forms, including oils, capsules, topicals, and edibles. The dosage of CBD varies depending on factors such as body weight, individual tolerance, and desired effects.
Some of the most popular forms of CBD include:
- CBD gummies: These edibles are like chewy sweets or candies, and typically come in a range of flavours. At ShelleySupply, we stock the popular Orange County gummies which are highly rated and an easy way to consume CBD.
- CBD patches: For people who require a slow release, CBD patches are a great way to enjoy the effects in everyday life. Patches can be worn under clothes and can promote relaxation throughout the day, helping to minimise your stress response.
- CBD creams and oils: To release that muscle tension and melt those knots away, CBD creams and oils can be applied directly to the affected area. Topical creams are perfect to help promote relaxation and lower those anxiety levels. At ShelleySupply, we stock a CBD joint and muscle cream and a CBD intimacy oil. While this can be used as a personal lubricant, it can also be used for massage and to soothe those muscle aches.
Other Stress-Relief Strategies
While CBD can be a valuable tool, it is important to not rely on it to answer all your stress related problems. Think of CBD as part of a health diet when it comes to your stress management.
Take care of the other elements such as regular exercise, a good diet, a good night’s sleep and some relaxation processes, and the CBD is like the icing on the cake.
While many of us drink alcohol to deal with stress, excess alcohol can have the opposite effect. And it’s the same with illegal drugs too. The good thing about CBD is that it is non-addictive and non-psychoactive, but it might just have an impact on managing our stress and anxiety.
The truth is that stress affects everyone, in all walks of life. It might be our jobs, our family life or dealing with kids, or it could be other personal issues affecting us.
There are many ways we can get emotional support. And if we ever feel over stressed than there are options from music therapy to medication.
ShelleySupply for Your CBD Needs
ShelleySupply CBD products are all natural products, made in the UK. Our in-house products are vegan certified and are designed to help with everyday challenges from chronic pain to stress management.
Discover how the benefits of CBD could help as part of your stress relief strategies.