Stress is an unfortunate part of our lives. Our bodies built in response to stress can help us manage difficult and stressful situations, and help us to stay composed under pressure. However, at times when our stress is prolonged, lasting weeks or even months, it can become chronic, causing us to develop severe symptoms. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, and even more important to understand how to manage and reduce chronic stress.
Symptoms of chronic stress manifest themselves in 4 main categories. Emotional symptoms (isolation, anxiety, frustration), physical symptoms (headaches, insomnia, shaking, teeth grinding), cognitive symptoms (lack of focus, pessimism, forgetfulness) , and behavioral symptoms (nail biting, overeating, not eating enough). These symptoms of chronic stress can have a negative impact on our immune system as well as lead to chronic inflammation.
Now that we have identified the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, let’s talk about some practical things that you can do to help prevent and alleviate chronic stress. One method of dealing with stress, called “Earthing” (making direct contact with electrons on the Earth’s surface, has been making quite a “buzz” in the scientific community. Because the human body operates on electrical current (with our skin acting as a conductor), the idea behind earthing is simple: making prolonged physical contact with the earth can allow our bodies to stabilize our bioelectrical environment. This can be done through sitting directly on the ground, walking barefoot on grass, or interacting with conductive systems indoors.
Studies on earthing have shown that participants saw improvements in inflammation, immune system function, maintaining mineral and electrolyte levels, and digestion. Earthing can help provide you with a basic level of stress management, while also encouraging you to get outside for a change of environment when it is needed most. Give earthing a try the next time you catch yourself sliding into stress, and see what sort of benefits it can provide for you!