Many people have found yoga useful as a way of gaining control over stress levels. Here at Victory, we’re big fans. We have plenty of options if you want to come in or you can practise in your own home with our online programme, 5 Yoga Poses for Stressed People.
Everyone combats stress in a different way. Some cook, others box, and some like a good night out. If you’re busy and struggling to find some you-time, try some deep breathing exercises. Take a deep breath in for the count of four, and then breathe out for the count of eight. Taking a few seconds out in this way can really help to reset your central nervous system and get you back on track. If you would like professional help in managing stress, you may want to talk to our psychologist, Dr Victor Thompson.
There's emotional stress, and then there's physical stress. If you do a lot of high-intensity workouts, you may notice that you’re often injured or ill. When you exercise, your central nervous system sends signals to your brain and muscles to let them know what’s going on and what's needed. Frequent exercise is good for this system, but exercising too frequently trains it to always expect the next round of exercise; consequently you never really relax. Your body needs recovery time (so maybe now's the time for that box set).
Stress is a normal, healthy reaction to your body being under strain. When your body senses danger, it triggers a fight-or-flight reaction to help you defend yourself. This can include an elevated heart rate, deeper and faster breaths, shutting down unnecessary systems (like your digestive system) and sweating – all responses designed to help your body face the threat. There's nothing harmful in short-term stress; it can help you in a tricky situation and keeps your brain active. But when stress becomes long-term and consistent, it can put serious pressure on your body.