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Last night, I had a bath. Ok, I know, no real achievement there. Anybody at anytime can do that much if their bathroom allows them to do so, and also providing their 2.5 year old will detach from the hip for 20 minutes. This always proves a challenge in the Kringoudis household and often like most parents, the downtime that comes with bedtime allows for bath time events. Now, I’m not a regular bather – I like showers to be honest. The idea of sitting my dirty bath water makes me want to gag mostly, but the relaxation factor is pretty high on the kringo-odomoter and here’s why; research shows that baths (alongside a trailer full of other things) help the body to cope with the effects of stress. And what’s making us gain unhealthy kg’s faster than you can zip up your skinny jeans? STRESS!!
You see, the soothing sense of the warmth and fluidity of the water helps reduce stress, attack depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels. But what’s more, it’s YOU time. When I hopped into the bath, I could hear my phone buzzing away. Ordinarily I’m one for racing to see who’s on offer in the array of contacts who might be trying to get a hold of me. But not when I’m in the bath. Bath time is when the world stands still for me – when I sink down in there I don’t really care about my phone, or my stressors or even if the day has been hell. All I care about is how hot the water is and how I can focus on relaxing. It’s like I don’t actually even have a choice – once I’m in, I’m sucked into the stillness. It really works!
A bath is a pretty simple technique to de-stress. You know that trailer of tricks I mentioned earlier? The bath is just one of the simple tips on the pile of so many others I have on offer to share (and others far more do-able anytime than a bath). As I mentioned stress is one of the biggest weight gainers going. Of course, I’m all about the healthy weight which as I’ve spoken about on numerous occasions may be dress sizes apart from your ideal weight. But if I can implement strategies that are forever helping shift me always towards wellness, then I’m giving it a red hot crack to make my own body thrive – being a healthy weight included.
What you eat also helps play a huge role in eliminating stress. If you’re into fast food and soft drinks, your body has one heck of a time trying to locate any nutrients, not to mention the load in digesting toxins disguised as food – you must know, fast food isn’t actually food. You might like to understand that eating certain vegetables can help reduce the load of oestrogen (think cruciferous veggies like spinach, cabbage and broccoli), since fat cells also make oestrogen and excess oestrogen makes us gain weight. Soluble fibre is also an essential part of the diet as it binds to excess oestrogen in the digestive system like a pick up truck and carries them out of the body. See – stress may actually be what you’re not eating!
I’ve come to recognise that most people don’t actually know what stress is. We know it’s bowling us over at a rapid pace, but we don’t necessarily understand it because we are living at a time like never before where stress is controlling us. What does that even mean? It means, we are living in the time of the stress epidemic – that it is all around us and influences us unknowingly. What’s more, we may not recognise the effects of stress. But all this aside the biggest issue is that we aren’t able to actually tackle stress. We can’t move beyond it, which is obviously why I created Debunking Stress, to not only nut all this out but to provide tangible techniques (not just having a bath!) that help us take control of stress and regain our own reigns.
And finally – perhaps you’re still super confused by the whole ‘stress’ idea and don’t actually know if you are stressed out. Here are some commonly experienced symptoms that alert me to knowing you so need a little bit of Debunking Stress in your life.
- You’re forever tired
- You have issues sleeping
- You have digestive issues, reflux, heartburn or perhaps issues at ‘the other end’
- Periods have gone awol or they seem to run on their own ‘non cycle’
- At times, breathing feels difficult
- You experience regular headaches or the tension behind your eyes feels like it’s being pulled back by a rubber band
- Sex drive is around zero
- You experiencing acne like a teenager
- You clench your jaw especially whilst you sleep
So, time to get into the bath and allow yourself to relax. Sounds a bit too simple I know, but honestly we need to get back to basics. Get conscious around where your stress is coming from and start to write down not only the triggers but looking at ways to change the situation. Sometimes we can’t change the serious stuff, but it’s the little things we can change that might just add up to big progress in overcoming stress in your own life.
My Masterclass, Debunking Stress, is the ultimate go-to for learning how stress impacts your health and how to manage it. I can’t emphasize enough how much of an impact managing your stress can have in lifting the symptoms you may be seeing in your own life.
And as always, if you feel the need for some more one-on-one support, myself or any of the practitioners at The Pagoda Tree would love to see you in our clinic or over Skype for personalised care.