Stress is a normal mental and physical response to the ever-increasing burdens of life. When looking at what causes of stress, keep in mind that the brain is constructed with a warning system designed for protection. When the brain senses a threat, it signals the rest of the body to release a surge of hormones to stimulate the capacity for a quick response. This is known as the fight-or-flight response. When the threat is gone, the body is supposed to return to a normal, calm state. Sadly, the nonstop stress of every day life can often cause that alarm system to be active all the time.
Once a person begins monitoring his or her stress levels, the following action will be to determine the stress triggers. When does most of your stress occur? Under what circumstances? Some triggers are easy to recognize such as job pressures, relationship issues or financial difficulties. However, daily hassles like commuting or being overcommitted at work can contribute to it. Positive events can also cause stress such as wedding and the arrival of a baby. Once triggers for stress have been identified, start thinking about strategies for dealing with it. Recognizing what parts of the situation can be controlled is a good start. Many individuals benefit from daily practice of stress minimizing techniques such as deep breathing, massage, tai chi, or yoga. Several people also manage stress by practicing mindfulness through meditation or being out in nature.
Acupuncture can improve some of the physical side effects associated with stress such as muscle tension and headaches. Aromatherapy, where calming scents are used to relieve stress can be very help. Lavender has a great calming effect. Additionally, several other aromatherapies are commonly used for relaxation. Valerian herb can also help people to relax as it is a natural sedative and it can reduce stress and its physical effects. Teas of chamomile, marjoram, basil, or rosemary can also help ease stress.
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