We’ve all felt stress at one point or another. This year, in particular, has been a stressful one; so if you’ve been feeling stressed lately, you are not alone. Let’s take a closer look at what stress is, how it affects our body, and ways to reduce it.

What is Stress?

Stress is the body’s physiological response to danger or a challenging situation. When faced with danger, our body has a natural ability to get away from the danger.

Your body is equipped with a sympathetic nervous system, also known as your body’s “fight or flight” mechanism, that defends you from danger. When you’re stressed, your sympathetic nervous system will cause:

  • An increase in heart rate
  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Muscle tightening
  • Blood shifting from major organs to your legs

Sometimes our bodies can get stuck in that “fight or flight” mode and we develop what’s called “chronic stress.” When this happens, the sympathetic nervous system continues to affect all parts of our body and the person can develop health, psychological, emotional, mental, and spiritual issues.

What Activates the Stress Response?

A number of factors can cause our body to activate our stress response, including:

  • Natural disasters
  • Pandemics
  • Health issues
  • Lack of food
  • Lack of housing
  • Loss of employment
  • Crime
  • Injustice
  • School
  • Work
  • Family
  • Death of a loved one

These are just a few examples of what can activate our body’s stress response. There are a lot of other events that can cause a person to stress.

Ways to Reduce Stress

Luckily there are plenty of ways you can reduce stress, and avoid developing chronic stress. Taking it day by day, creating a routine, and preparing yourself are some of the most helpful things you can do to avoid feeling stressed. If you do find yourself in a stressful situation, you can:

  • Stay calm
  • See the positive side of the situation
  • Meditate
  • Pray
  • Avoid isolating yourself
  • Ask for support
  • Get a therapeutic massage

Feeling Stressed? Let Spotswood Trail Help!

If you are of one of the thousands of people who are feeling stressed during this time, you can benefit from a therapeutic massage from Spotswood Trail. Massages are perfect for relaxing the body, reducing stress, and preparing you to handle anything that comes your way. Give us a call or click here to schedule your appointment.