All of us feel stress from time to time. Deadlines at work, money worries, relationships feeling a bit tense or perhaps our reaction to a specific situation is making us feel overwhelmed.
There are many ways we can learn to cope with stress including making adjustments to our lifestyle, getting some guidance or even some professional help.
Let’s have a closer look at what stress is and how a coach can help with stress relief with guidance and strategies to manage stress and build emotional resilience.
When we feel stressed, our bodies release stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline. This is the typical ‘fight – flight – freeze response that you may have heard of. Historically, humans relied on this response to get themselves out of life-threatening situations. It’s how the body reacts to a threat and prepares us to be able to fight, run away or freeze.
These days, whilst our everyday ‘threats’ have changed, we still tend to respond with the same stress response. This means that if we’re running late for a meeting, or we’re feeling the pressure of a relationship going south, the same stress hormones get released, just as if we were in preparation to fight, take flight or freeze.
If anything our brains have become more sensitive to perceived threats and this is when chronic stress or anxiety occurs.
Identifying Symptoms of Stress
If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, chances are you’re experiencing a stress response.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Change in appetite
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Digestive or other gut issues
- Chest pains
- Shallow breathing
- Fogginess or difficulty making decisions
- High blood pressure
- Feeling teary or depressed
Stress affects everyone differently. What’s stressful for one person may not necessarily be stressful to someone else.
You may feel that you have a clear reason to feel stressed or anxious but it could also be simmering away in the background due to a build up of lots of smaller issues.
How Coaching Helps with Stress
There are many ways we deal with stress and it’s important to find something that is going to work for you.
If you’re worried that stress is having a negative impact on your mental health, you need support from a mental health professional.
Alternatively, if you’re considering making lifestyle changes or using some self-help strategies, you may want to explore coaching to see if this sort of guidance would be more suitable.
Coaching can help you understand the root cause of your stress. Typically an effective coach will ask questions to help you gain understanding and offer insights for you to consider.
Coaching helps provide an unbiased perspective so that you can process your thoughts and feelings in a safe space.
Stress coaching specifically will help you with strategies to reduce stress. When coupled with a daily ritual that involves relaxation skills, journaling and meditation, this approach can be very effective to help you deal with stress and more importantly, develop emotional resilience so that you’re better equipped to deal with similar situations in the future.
Top Tips for Stress Relief
Our resident coach, Toni Basile, offers her top tips for stress relief.
1. Use breathing and other relaxation techniques
Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing exercises can help you manage stress in the moment. A simple technique can be applied when you feel stressed and it’s something you can come back to time and time again.
2. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can aggravate a stressful situation, making it more intense and difficult to deal with. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, reduce screen time before bed and ensure you’ve got a calming wind-down routine in the evenings.
3. Exercise regularly
Make sure you’re prioritising movement. Exercise helps to reduce stress and releases hormones that promote a sense of well being. Pick an activity you really enjoy to make sure you’re able to stick with it regularly.
4. Cut down sugar and caffeine
If you’re having a particularly stressful day, do your best to cut down the amount of coffee and sugar you’re having. Having too much of these stimulants may exacerbate stress.
5. Prioritise and manage your time
Be sure to set clear boundaries and don’t pack your calendar to the point of overwhelm. Your health is your priority and if you don’t have sufficient space and time it can often lead to feelings of stress. Make sure you factor in some self-care time – this can be a massage once a month or a regular float right here at Gravity Float to ease away the stresses of the day.
6. Surround yourself with supportive people
This one is by far the most important. You don’t have to do this alone.
Make sure you have a support network that you can turn to when you need it. Spend time connecting with friends and family who understand.
If you need to speak to a coach, you can book an obligation-free call here