Everyone experiences stress at some points in their life. In fact, stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to events that take place caused by certain stimuli (stressors). When your body experiences stress it responds by releasing cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, its believed that when a body experiences stress, it affects the Qi ( energy flow ) and causes an imbalance of Qi. This type of stress is often caused by repressed emotions and frustration.
Health Canada data has revealed that roughly 11 million Canadians may experience high levels of stress, with two million more of us at risk for traumatic stress as a result of the pandemic. An IPSOS poll (a multinational market research and consulting firm with headquarters in Paris, France) investigating the mental health of Canadians found that 66 per cent of women and 51 per cent of men claim their mental health has been negatively affected by COVID-19.
Historically, its been hard for people to reach out for help with their mental health issues because of the stigma that has typically been associated with it. And, there are some people who aren't even aware that they are suffering from depression or stress, so they're unlikely to seek out help.
Physical and Emotional Signs of Stress:
- Increase in blood pressure
- Decrease or increase in appetite
- Muscular tension
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Withdrawing from social events
- Feeling depressed/tired/apathetic
- Increase in the use of drugs or alcohol
- Disinterest in sex
- Feeling overwhelmed
Determine the cause of the stress - job, divorce, death of a loved one and moving are some of the major causes of stress. See what part of it you can control and act on it. Sometimes, its out of your control so seek the help of a professional health practitioner that can guide you through the process.
Practice Self care - this may seem impossible, but even one small thing a day can be beneficial such as preparing a healthy meal, getting outdoors, exercising, meditation
Receive Acupuncture - its been proven to lower stress levels, relieve pain associated with stress, improve sleep, regulate appetite and improve mood.
Talk with a trusted friend - sometimes just talking it out can relieve or minimize stress.
Find out if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies - stress can deplete you of your Vitamin B's and anxiety, related to stress, can be caused by a magnesium deficiency.