Now more than ever we may start to feel overwhelmed with stress and anxious thoughts, and whilst there’s no immediate quick fix, there are many things you can do to help alleviate stress and anxiety. But first, let’s see the difference between them!
Stress- This is caused by a known source such as a tight deadline or having too much on our plate. This may manifest in feelings of anger, sadness or irritability.
Anxiety- Is a specific fear and/or dread which may have no specific cause and can last for a longer period of time. People often wake up with this feeling for no apparent reason. Anxiety can also come as a form of chronic stress; someone whose body has a consistent surge of stress hormones.
Physical effects of stress and anxiety on our body
- stomach pain, nausea, or digestive trouble
- insomnia or other sleep issues (waking up frequently, for example)
- weakness or fatigue
- rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- pounding heart or increased heart rate
- sweating, trembling or shaking
- muscle tension or pain
As you can see from the list above, stress and anxiety do not only affect our mind but our body too, which can make achieving any health goal at all become very difficult.
One way you can start to reduce stress and anxiety today…
Mindfulness – Mindfulness can help you to detach from your anxious thoughts and calm your nervous system. It helps rest your attention in the present moment and let go of being pulled around by unhelpful thoughts and emotions. Through mindfulness you can begin to relate to your thoughts and feelings both compassionately and non-reactively. When you meet our thoughts and feelings from a place of calm, kindness and balance, you can find you are no longer so caught in their grip.
Here are some mindfulness podcasts to help you get started
- The One Mind Podcast with Morgan Dix
- The Mindful Minute Podcast
- I Should be Meditating with Alan Klima
Dealing with stress and anxiety is definitely easier said than done but mindfulness is an opportunity to be kind to yourself and give yourself the self-awareness and attention that you deserve. It’s the perfect time to unwind and escape the fast pace of life.