We would not be human if we all didn’t have ebbs and flows of joys, stress, wins and losses throughout our days, weeks, months and years. Anxiety and stress are more present now than ever.
According to a study last year by YouGOV with more than 4,500 respondents, 74% of people reported to feel so stressed they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Can you relate? What are the sources of some of your biggest stressors?
What is stress?
Stress is defined as something that causes a strain or tension making us feel anxious, overwhelmed, fearful, frustrated and even angry. It can be a physical, biological or mental stress. When we experience a stress, our body’s alarm system kicks in and our brain releases the cortisol hormone.
Obviously, each of our individual reactions to the same stressor can be different. An unexpected outcome could send one person into a tailspin, while another person may just nod their head and move on. Ongoing high levels of stress are never healthy for anyone; however, the occasional peaks in stress are okay. This could be us feeling nervous before trying something new. After the experience, we have grown, learned, and the next time will probably not elicit the same nerves.
Types of stress
Global psychological associations have categorized the following types of stress: acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress.
Acute stress is the most common to which we can all relate to; like waiting in line, getting an unexpected phone call, deadlines, not achieving the expected outcome. During an acute stress response, the autonomic nervous system is activated and the body experiences increased levels of cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones that produce an increased heart rate, quickened breathing rate, and higher blood pressure.
The episodic acute and chronic stressors are much more serious land life encompassing and require professional help. The stress is always around and persistent, causing a disordered and chaotic life. Symptoms include extended over arousal, persistent tension headaches, hypertension, chest pain and heart disease.
How to battle stress?
Stay present. We often feel stressed when thinking about the future. Ask yourself, what’s happening right now? Am I safe?
Label your thoughts and feelings and identify why you’re feeling that way. Confide in a friend if it helps you say it out loud.
Fact-check your thoughts: are your thoughts and worries realistic?
Breathe! Whilst it may sound elementary, its way more than basic. Focus on evenly inhaling and exhaling. This will help you slow down and re-center your mind. Check out Wim Hof – he has some excellent breathing for stress quenching advice.
Exercise – even better exercise outside in fresh air. This will interrupt your train of thought and let your endorphins, the happy hormones, start flowing.
Don’t feed your emotions with sugar. Avoid the temptation to dive into the ice cream bowl when tensions are running high. Research shows sugar can worsen anxious feelings. First refresh with a glass of water. If you’re still not satisfied, grab a healthy protein snack.
Once you have mapped out your triggers, try to make a plan to minimize the stress and anxiety that come from these events… conquer them!
You can also check out this great Wim Hof podcast featuring Dr. Jordan B Peterson to help you to start the journey of tackling the stressors. Listen on Apple Podcasts here or visit Wim's website directly.
CBD and stress relief in science
At ebb + flow we love science and we follow CBD science to keep you updated. There have been quite a few studies around CBD and stress relief. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. The anxiety reducing effects of CBD are published in a recent large scale review study where researchers summarized the findings of sixteen human clinical studies on the effects of CBD on stress and anxiety in both healthy and clinical populations.
The evidence points towards a calming and anxiety reducing effect of CBD at varied doses in healthy populations. Whilst this is just the start, there will be more robust and larger studies.
There were, for example, five studies conducted on healthy men published in the Journals of Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychopharmacology. Even though the sample size of all studies are still rather low (between 10 and 57 participants per study) four of these studies reported that CBD significantly reduced markers of anxiety. That is great news!
These are the first steps in investigations on healthy populations. The science starts with in vitro and animal studies to ensure safety and the appropriate CBD dose. Next, the focus moves to clinical populations, meaning on people with underlying health issues. These studies are of course very important but different to studies done on healthy populations and more relevant to most of us.
As researchers see the positive trend of CBD benefits for the healthy population (more relevant to wellness and wellbeing CBD usage) there will be larger human studies to build upon the healthy human findings. It is an exciting area of research to continue to follow and we are happy to share!
Stop, relax and create a routine...
So, how do you stop, relax, and create a routine to nurture your emotional wellbeing? When you feel a wave of stress coming on, like tense muscles, sweating, nervousness, STOP and BREATHE and CONSIDER trying a few drops of CBD oil. The science behind it is stronger every day! Read on for more benefits of CBD.
These statements are summarized from peer reviewed published scientific literature; however, have not been evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. Always consult your personal care physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD products should never be used by anyone under the age of 18, those that are pregnant or nursing. The contents of this blog are not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.