1.At times of high stress our pupils dilate. Why? To take in more information around our surroundings. They are sussing out whether we will need to fight or flight. An American psychologist Daniel Kahenman discovered our pupils dilate depending on how difficult the task is.
2.Stress is difficult to measure and one person stressors might not stress someone else but work related stress accounted for 43% of days off work in 2014-2015. (Source: Work related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2015, HSE)
3.Men can respond to stress with different behaviours to women. Men are more likely to get angry, drink more or take drugs to cope with stress. Women are more likely to be emotional but will also talk or share it with someone.
4.The word stress comes form the Latin word ‘Stringere’ which means to tighten. Makes sense when you think about what our bodies do when we are stressed—we get more knotted, more wound up, get physical pains and aches in our necks or backs and we can become more difficult to engage with.
5.When we are under stress its harder to fight off a cold as it can affect our immune system as we are continuously activating our stress response which can leave us depleted elsewhere.
And now 5 things you might not have thought of that you can do to help yourself:
1.Laughing lowers stress hormones and also helps improve our immune system—double whammy! Find something funny to laugh at today whether it’s on You Tube or a funny film!
2.Spend time with a pet—there is evidence that time with a pet helps lower blood pressure, raise our feel good hormones and keep us fitter at the same time!
3.Yoga can help balance our body and mind and connect with our breathing so apart from the actual time we take for our self when we practice yoga our levels of cortisol can reduce.
4.Sing! Music and singing help us feel both elated and relaxed and if we sing in a group we also feel connected and have a sense of community that is also great for stress. Researchers across the globe including Japan, USA and Stockholm have found singing improves our wellbeing on a number of levels.
5.Drink Green tea— it's loaded with antioxidants and theanine, which is an amino acid that helps calm the nervous system. Try it instead of caffeine and see how your body feels!