The 5 symptoms of stress – and exactly how to fix them _ daily mail online

Self-criticism and negative thinking might pop up to keep us from trying new things where we run the risk of being hurt or disappointed for instance. Electricity a level physics This language-based warning system comes from the left sides of our brains where we tend to view the world from interpretation, analysis and comparison

We can get caught up in this cyclical inner dialogue particularly when we don’t understand a situation, have decisions to make, things on our mind.

This can be especially true in the wee hours of the morning when we may be waking from stress affecting our ability to drop into and maintain deeper sleep cycles.

If highs and lows of blood sugar in the day feed into dropping levels in the night, we can even wake from a shot of adrenaline preventing us dropping into a hypoglycaemic coma.

Audio books, podcasts and any spoken word audio can satisfy our left brain’s want for language and intercept our own voices very effectively.

Guided meditations can help (see my meditation series here) to calm as a voice other than your own is letting your subconscious know it is safe to relax.

Listening to stories, novels, Dessert Island Discs and my personal favourite, podcasts about quantum physics, can give our attention an alternative to mind-bending loops.

Letting yourself just listen and enjoy the experience in your lovely, warm, cosy bed – rather than try to get to sleep – can send you off without even noticing.

This 15 minute sequence can also intercept mind racing; firstly with body focus to bring you down out of your head, then doodling to switch attention from left to the more creative right brain and then a healthy almond snack to provide the nutrition satisfaction that can stop us adding sugar cravings into the mind racing mix; they have the highest protein content of any tree nut.

Guided meditations can help (see my meditation series here) to calm as a voice other than your own is letting your subconscious know it is safe to relax. Gas or electricity more expensive These can be particularly helpful in the middle of the night when we can feel starkly hemmed in to the world in our heads in the dark

Almonds also provide essential B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and omega oils that our brains need to regulate our nervous systems and stabilise mood.

In this space we can see that mind ruminations are of things that are often not with us at that moment and that we don’t need to keep up a heightened response to these vigilant patterns.

Long-term practice has shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increase compassion and self-compassion (including how we objectively view ourselves), improve neuroplasticity (more flexibility in different situations) and increase axonal density, which can determine how well our brains signal.

With the stress response including a widening of pupils to take in more peripheral information in the face of perceived danger, it can also include sensitivity to light when chronic and long-term stress is in the mix.

According to a survey of 2,000 British adults by Innocent Smoothies last year, a fifth of us feel separation anxiety from our mobile devices.

As the hormone melatonin allows us to go to sleep, this can further tire us and steal sleep time that we need to feed vital nutrients to the eyes.

Ban technology from the bedroom and pick up a book, swap TV for radio or music as often as possible, resist picking up your phone as soon as you awake and make clear boundaries for checking emails, social media etc.

Clenching in the jaw is a basic part of the stress response as it primes us for self-protection, increasing blood flow to the temples to create the heightened vigilance that our primal selves perceive we need for survival when life is challenging.

It gives us a sense of motivation and forward thrust, but when it becomes set as default it can add into neck and shoulder tension, keep sending the signals to keep up stress and agitation and even lead to symptoms like headaches and teeth grinding.

With workplace stress on the rise phrases like ‘gritting our teeth through it’ can seem more literal and part of your body’s ‘normal’ setting.

If you practice yoga, you may have noticed your yoga teacher saying lines like ‘release your jaw’, ‘soft jaw’ or my personal favourite; ‘allow space between the back teeth’.

This is one of the most important physical observations we can use in both our yoga practice and our life, to gauge how much tension we may be carrying and a route in to letting release and relief flood back into the whole system.

Chewing celery is not only a good jaw workout but it also contains the nervous system soothing chemical apigenin, so can help bring you down from the signals that keep up jaw stress.

This gives them the signal that they can release and allow you to feel that you can move your jaw around to create space. Gas vs diesel mpg this exercise can help relieve stress held from holding stress body patterns chronically:

• Start by pinching the middle of your eyebrows, taking your time to move out to their edges and across the temples, massaging and exploring any way that feels right to you.

• Work out from the temples around the skin covering the bony protuberances behind the ears and even the ears themselves, with a gentle but firm pinching and kneading action.

• Move down the outer back line of the neck down from the skull behind the ears; here you can massage the big scalene muscles that create head turning movements. Electricity outage compensation These are not designed to hold up the head as they are not postural muscles, but can end up doing this job when we tense the shoulders, hunch on chairs and then lift the chin to look forwards.

Feeling stress in the gut isn’t simply descriptive, our bellies are in constant communication with our brains to guide how we respond to external (and internal) stimuli.

As I explain in my book The De-Stress Effect, much stress research has been directed towards the gut, where the enteric nervous system (ENS, aka ‘The Second Brain’) is a complex mass of nerve cells running the entire length of your digestive tract, from mouth to anus.

About the size of a cat’s brain, it can operate separately to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) but is in continual dialogue with the brain.

Feeling stress in the gut isn’t simply descriptive, our bellies are in constant communication with our brains to guide how we respond to external (and internal) stimuli

If you can lie down with legs bent, but sit comfortably (away from a screen) if you need and place your hands comfortably onto your lower abdomen; with loose fingers and so that you allow the natural rise and fall of your belly as you breathe.

It can take a while to feel this motion of rise on the inhale, drop on the exhale if stress has you breathing up into your upper chest and shoulders, but if you exhale fully into these areas too, you can start to feel release down into the lower body.

Research is beginning to understand how looking after our gut environment helps to signal back up to the brain to either keep the stress response going or allow us to calm back down the other side.

Beneficial bacteria in the form of a good quality probiotic and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and apple cider vinegar can help feed them and support the right pH balance for them to flourish.

Ensuring adequate levels of the mineral magnesium can help our ability to calm smooth muscle, including that in the bowel, so plenty of green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish can help redress how we use up lots of magnesium in the stress response.

If you’ve been putting others first or struggle to say no to expectations from family, friends or work colleagues, having a short fuse is a red warning to create good boundaries for yourself and others.

Connecting in to these places we associate with compassion for the heart and intuitive wisdom in the belly (those gut feelings again) in a palpably physical way can help us come down from heightened responses that may be inappropriate for the level of stress presented.

Breathing here and allowing looseness in the jaw can bring a sense of unlocking the tight head we feel in anger and dissipating the intense emotions involved.

You can even give yourself a hug; touch, massage and pressure from a warm body is soothing to the nervous system and lets us know that we are safe.

A hug from ourselves – just as from others – produces the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin when over 20 seconds, which has the nurturing effect that can mean a different route to anger or seeing another’s point of view may suddenly seem possible.

According to the late psychologist and creator of Non-violent Communication (NVC) Marshall Rosenburg, anger is one of the expressions we can have when we felt we’re not having our basic needs met.

His book of the same name is a very helpful guide to finding a language with others and our inner voices to navigate communications with compassion and solve conflict where everybody feels heard and respected.