How can we fight stress?
Ah, stress! So many of us suffer from stress, it has even been classed as a “health epidemic of the 21st century”. Often perceived as unmanageable or part of our personality, in reality, stress can be controlled. Here are a few solutions to manage and fight stress more effectively, day to day.
« My work is stressful; I didn’t sleep well because I’ve got too much on my mind; I've got stomach ache; I feel anxious… »
We hear these comments regularly, among friends and family. We may also experience these situations ourselves. Stress, whether related to our work, our personal life, family life, or even an isolated event, is, in fact, a very real part of our day-to-day lives.
Stress, what is it?
Stress is a completely natural human feeling. It starts out as a reflex, a defence mechanism which helps us face and forces us to react to an external threat, as a fight or flight response to danger.
First of all, in the warning phase, stress causes what is known as a rush of adrenaline in our body, to help us react: our heart rate increases, and blood rushes to our muscles. Our strength, our reflexes and our perception of things then improve, to help us make the best decision.
A few minutes later, stress takes hold in a different way. We then enter the resistance phase. This is where cortisol and dopamine are released, to help us act appropriately. Cortisol helps mobilize the necessary energy resources: originally for the fight or flight response but, nowadays, for facing any type of stressful situation we may encounter. Dopamine gives us the motivation to face up to this stimulus.
Once the event which caused stress has passed, the body will relax – we may then feel tired – and return to a “normal” state after resting for some time. Nevertheless, stress can sometimes persist, and the body is unable to shake off this state. This then leads to the exhaustion phase, as the constant release of cortisol and dopamine forces us to draw on our energy reserves. The body then becomes weak.
We need to identify stress before we can fight it
De nombreuses personnes ne se rendent pas comptent qu’elles souffrent d’un stress chronique. Celui-ci peut se manifester de plusieurs manières, parmi lesquelles:
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Tense muscles;
- Gastrointestinal discomfort;
- Sleep disorders;
- Compensatory behaviours: tobacco, alcohol or drug use, overeating;
Chronic stress can also cause behavioural and/or physical imbalances: a tendency to become isolated, a negative perception of reality, loss of motivation, lethargy, irritability, anxiety, low self-esteem, heartburn, weakened immune system, cellular ageing, etc.
Natural solutions for fighting stress
Some people tolerate stress better than others. Nevertheless, there are a few methods for helping us manage this type of situation more effectively.
Different practices exist for fighting stress:
- physical exercise followed by a moment of calm;
Some plants also have soothing, calming properties, such as valerian or passionflower. These are suitable for the resistance phase. Other ingredients, such as taurine and magnesium, can boost energy and are therefore particularly suited to the exhaustion phase.
Laboratoires ORTIS has developed a natural solution, suitable for all phases. Formulated from ginseng and saffron, it acts on the production of both dopamine and cortisol. It does not mask, but rather helps resist and fight stress, by strengthening mental and physical well-being, supporting positive mood, and aiding relaxation and better sleep.