Did you know that stress could be both positive and negative? The word stress can be defined as a mental, physical or emotional element that can cause mental or bodily tension. Stress is our bodies reaction to various changes.
External Stress: External stressors are caused by outside sources such as the environments you spend time in, psychological issues, and social situations and interactions.
Internal Stress: Internal stressors are caused by medical and bodily issues such as illness, disease, and medical procedures.
Positive & Negative Stress
Stress triggers our instinctive fight or flight response. There is both good and bad stress, here’s how that works.
Positive Stress – Positive stress motivates us and helps us focus our energy. It is almost always short-term and easier to cope with than negative stress. Positive stress can feel exciting increasing the potential to improve your overall performance. Things like promotions, weddings, holidays, big events, and exams are all examples of positive stress.
Negative Stress – Negative stress causes anxiety and it is rather unpleasant. Job insecurity, a conflict between friends/family, loss, work life, home life, and arguments can all lead to negative stress. It can be either short-term or long term and can be more difficult to deal with than positive stress. Negative stressors can also have a negative impact on our performance.
Areas Of The Body Affected By Stress
- The Reproductive System
Naturally Kicking Stress To The Curb
Aromatherapy & Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is therapeutic and it all starts with our nose. As we inhale the scent enters the nasal cavity and passes through the lining. The aromatic stress-relieving molecules positively affect the hypothalamus, endocrine system, and the autonomic nervous system. Using essential oils for aromatherapy can decrease stress, regulate your heart rate, promote circulation, and regulate your blood pressure.
3 Scents Great For De-stressing
- Bergamot: This citrus-scented oil can relieve tension and anxiety, as well as, reducing stress, heart-rate, and blood pressure.
- Lavender: This amazing plant is well-known for its aromatherapy, as well as, it’s healing properties. Lavender calms the nervous system along with lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Lavender scents can change the brain waves to a more relaxed frequency.
- Ylang-Ylang: The sedative properties in Ylang-Ylang have calming properties. I’ve heard that if you inhale the scented oil while using deep breathing techniques every time you get frustrated, angry, stressed or anxious that the brain will begin recognizing and associating the scent with relaxation. I suppose this could work with any scent that helps an individual relax. It has the ability to decrease blood pressure and calm the nervous system.
Herbs & Herbal Supplements
- Chamomile: The aromatically sweet plant tastes just as sweet as it smells. It’s no surprise that it’s been used for centuries to calm the nerves and ease the mind. The mildly sedating properties of chamomile can be used to ease stress and anxiety, as well as, difficulty sleeping.
- Black & Green Tea: L-theanine which is found in green and black tea, has the ability to increase the brain’s Alpha waves. This increase in Alpha waves produces a calming effect. The power of L-theanine can also reduce negative responses to stress and stressful situations. It’s almost like a precautionary measure taken to avoid stressful feelings and situations.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb of many healings but when it comes to kicking stress to the curb there’s not an issue. This herb has the ability to relax the central nervous system along with easing inflammation. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen meaning it literally helps us adapt to our environments including stressful ones.
Exercise has always been a part of a healthy routine and life. A proper diet, exercise, and happiness are a part of all aspects of health and wellness. Aerobic exercise reduces the body’s level of stress hormones. Two of the stress hormones reduced are cortisol and adrenaline. Exercising stimulates the body’s productions of endorphins which activate opiate receptors.
Meditation & Yoga
Yoga is a mind-body exercise or practice that can lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as, reducing stress. I’ve noticed that when I practice yoga and meditation regularly I am slow to anger and stressful situations don’t seem that bad. Meditation produces the opposite effect of the fight or flight response. Relaxation response meditation can bring about a calm relaxing environment four our emotions and the emotional response to stress.
Write It Out
For some people, writing in a journal can help relieve anxiety and stress. Writing out stressful situations, experiences, and emotions are good but it’s also very important to write down the positive situations and emotions as well. This helps create a balance and build gratitude. When I write it out I envision a connection from mind and emotions through to my hand, as I write I the words I release the negative out of my being. With the positive, I absorb the good rather than release it. It’s similar to the yin-yang
I am not a licensed doctor or professional. Just like with prescription medication it’s always wise to do your own research and consult a professional with any questions or concerns. Happy Healing Friends!