April is National Stress Awareness Month. It has been running since 1992 and is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress and how to prevent it.
Most of us will be familiar with the feelings associated with confronting a stressful situation, but when does occasional stress turn into a debilitating problem?
Common symptoms of stress:
- rapid pulse and sometimes heart palpitations
- dry mouth and sweaty palms
- generalised anxiety
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite for food and sex
- digestive problems
- muscle tension
- skin disorders
- depressed immune system making us more prone to illness
Stress is often disregarded as merely a part of everyday life, a by-product of problems with relationships, work and money that is largely unavoidable. Work-related stress is a growing problem in the UK with 488,000 cases – including anxiety and depression – recorded by the Health and Safety Executive in 2015/16. It is clear from this that many people are becoming stressed to the extent it is adversely affecting how they think, feel and behave.
Pilates has an important role to play in managing our stress levels. Attending a class can provide a place for the body to relax, rejuvenate and release tension. It also provides a space for the mind to focus on the present moment. The Pilates method of breathing oxygenates the blood, which triggers a calming effect on the brain. The breath timed with the movement, creates a physiological response in the body that naturally decreases our stress and anxiety levels.
If you’ve never tried Pilates, or haven’t been for a while, and think you might be suffering from stress, why not make April the month to come to Pilates at The Wellbeing Studio. There are lots of classes during the week and at weekends, and at different times of the day to suit all types of lifestyle. To arrange to attend, please contact me either by phone or email if you’re an existing client, or via the contact form if you’ve never been to class before.
To close, a chill-out track and video from Rhye…you might want to give the cigar a miss though…