The Art of Stress Management For Londoners Today
For many of us, the cheerful and peaceful holidays of just a few weeks ago seem like a distant memory. As we enter a new year, it’s obvious that the challenges and sheer pace of modern life are getting more difficult to deal with. It’s with this in mind that I’d like to offer some valuable stress management advice so as to successfully avoid the damage to our mind and body that acute stress is known to bring.
You’ll be interested to know that almost half of all adults suffer health issues from stress and that 75 – 90 percent of all doctor’s visits are due to stress-related ailments. (Source)
Bearing in mind the emotional toll that stress has taken on our own lives and that of our loved ones, what can we do? We can’t simply check out of life.
Is there a solution?
The Signs of Stress
It’s important to understand that your personal stressors are unique to you. Your triggers, the things that you lie awake and worry about and the challenges that you face are very individual and personal.
However, while our trials may be very different, our bodies react to stress in much the same way.
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss which is usually attributed to stress or trauma. It is terribly distressing for sufferers who experience significant hair loss, often from the top of the head, when simply washing or brushing their hair. While not often permanent, thinning hair for a woman is likely to undermine her confidence when she needs it the most.
When we’re stressed, we tend to scowl, frown or purse our lips. These facial expressions are unconscious for the most part but leave an indelible mark on our features This, coupled with the fact that cortisol, our main stress hormone, breaks down the collagen in our skin, means that our faces will develop more fine lines and wrinkles in a shorter period of time.
A lack of stress management has also been linked to acne breakouts, psoriasis or eczema – another not-so-welcome gift from our friend – cortisol. As we get older, our sensitive skins will quickly exhibit the signs of stress such as dryness from dehydration, a sallow complexion from a poor diet, dark eye circles from lack of sleep, or dull, lifeless skin from a lack of exercise. Stress tends to destroy our motivation to eat right, exercise and make sensible (and healthy) decisions – and it shows.
These physical signs are one thing; the toll that stress takes on our health in unseen ways is even more frightening. Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, increased blood pressure, as well as mental and emotional disorders, are all a result of prolonged stress.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom.
The Beauty of Stress Management
It’s easy to say, “Oh just stop stressing!” But the reality is that we all need a little external help.
Here’s what I have found useful to manage stress levels before they get out of hand, and simply to take back some of the serenity that I so enjoy:
Spa Treatments and Massage
There is a good reason why the word “spa” is so often mentioned as a solution to a stressed-out body.
Successful stress management requires us to remove ourselves from the problem, even when it’s all in our head. A spa treatment – whether at a quiet and restful facility or in the comfort and privacy of your own home – may be just what your overworked system needs.
A massage allows your body to relax completely, eases the tension out of sore, tight muscles, and allows your mind to rest. It also serves to stimulate circulation encouraging the reactivation of an often suppressed immune and digestive system – a vital long-term benefit to our overall wellness.
One study showed a reduction in cortisol levels from a single massage which clearly shows how the body responds to a gentle, human touch.
I have been lucky enough to enjoy an incredible deep tissue massage with Sarah, a degreed Sports Rehabilitation Therapist with over 20 years’ of experience in her art. Cited in the Tatler, Harpers Bazaar and Country and Town House, she comes highly recommended and I can personally assure you that you will feel incredible after an hour in her skilled hands.
Pilates or Yoga
While the physical benefits of both Yoga and Pilates are evident, it’s the mental and emotional aspects which really speak to me.
Mindfulness and meditation are practices that serve to calm jangled nerves, relax busy minds and still a racing heart. Controlled breathing and demanding physical poses lower blood pressure and encourage the release of endorphins; happy hormones to counter the stress.
Do you prefer a studio environment or a one-on-one with a trained professional? I have worked with a variety of wellness experts who each offer a unique system of training as individual as you are, and I can recommend each one with confidence.
Physical training is a critical stress management tool!
Facials, Manicures and Pedicures
To some, it may sound flippant to enjoy a facial, manicure or pedicure in response to heightened stress levels. However, the science behind it is sound.
A good pedicure includes a wonderfully relaxing foot and leg massage which helps the body to release toxins and stimulates blood flow. And of course, anyone who has had a foot rub will tell you that you can’t help but close your eyes and relax! Quite literally, just what the doctor ordered.
A facial allows you that very necessary downtime which we mentioned earlier, removes impurities and toxins, increases circulation, relieves headaches and stimulates the production of oxytocin through the medium of touch – a powerful warrior against stress!
I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of competent, qualified and incredibly skilled beauty therapists, most of which can be found here. These professionals are in the business of making you look and feel amazing.
It’s never too late to immerse yourself in some tried and trusted stress management techniques. We know that life can get on top of us at times, but don’t wait until you can see the ravages of stress when you look in the mirror.
Stress management goes hand-in-hand with successful lifestyle management. A simple life and an uncluttered mind are an essential foundation to thriving in this busy world that we inhabit, and sometimes we need a helping hand. This is exactly what I offer. Why not give me a call and let me guide you as that extra pair of hands that helps to bring balance, peace and order to the lives of those who need it the most.