by Lucy O'Keefe


Never underestimate the power of relaxation. Recent research into the effects of chronic stress have taken huge precedence, and there is a lot of research proving it's negative effects to our health and well-being. 

If you consider the stress response; this is a state your body goes into, very cleverly, to protect you in times of threat. Very simply, imagine you are under attack, you need to act quickly to get away from the source of danger. In this instance your body will shut down all functions in the body which aren’t vital in that moment, for example; digestive, reproductive, immune systems. These are all put to rest as they are not deemed essential for your imminent survival. Instead your body gets ready for action; you breathing becomes fast, and shallow to get more oxygen to your muscles, adrenaline is released ready for fight or flight, your muscles become tense, think of your tense neck and shoulders as  a stressful day drags on. 

This is all very useful for a short term threat, but with the constant triggering of the stress response this can have detrimental effects on your long term health. With many serious diseases such as; obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.

Are you someone who is always getting ill, struggling to conceive, or have digestive issues. Stress could be a factor and you may be more at risk from illness, a first step to reducing stress could be as simple as taking some time out for yourself, it could be as small as 10 minutes to meditate. Other ways you can be reduce stress could be by taking some time in nature by getting out for a walk, taking up yoga, starting some form of exercise, and investing in regular massage.