Stress – it’s become a typical part of modern life. It’s also part of your body’s innate defense system. However, stress causes significant health concerns to your body and mind, including increasing the release of cortisol, a hormone linked with several adverse health outcomes and various effects on different functions within the body.
The Rise of Stress in Recent Years
The modern world is filled with things that are supposed to make our lives simpler and more manageable, but we’ve never been more stressed at any other point in history. The American Psychological Association (APA) has tracked the rising stress levels of Americans for many years. While COVID-19 plays a central role in those levels today (nearly 78% of adults say the pandemic has been a source of significant stress), it is far from the only source—and coupled with a rising mental health crisis, stress levels and ways to combat it is of great concern.
What Is Stress and How Does It Affect the Body?
You hear “stress” from your doctor, coworkers, friends, and family, but what exactly is stress?
As part of your body’s fight or flight mechanism to keep you out of danger, stress is a response and normal reaction when changes occur that affect you. These responses or reactions result in physical, emotional or mental outcomes, which can wreak havoc on your quality of life. For prolonged periods of exposure, it can lead to chronic conditions and significant health concerns that may include the following:
- Weight gain
- Muscle tension
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Memory and concentration challenges
- Digestive system upset
- Increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weakened immune system
Cortisol and other stress hormones are at the core of many of these symptoms, as they inhibit insulin production, contract blood vessels, and increase heart rate. In addition, stress can lead to unwanted addictive behaviors in your life, such as overeating, smoking, drinking or drug misuse.
How to Alleviate Stressors
While stress is unavoidable, you don’t have to let it rule or ruin your life. There are many ways to alleviate stress and erase the damage it has caused. A few methods that might prove beneficial in reducing stress reducing stress include:
- Exercise: Physical exercise is a great way to combat the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise reduces cortisol levels while improving heart health and fighting weight gain. It can also lower blood pressure, improve sleep and be a great mood booster. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help support the body’s physical health and can be achieved in strength training, cardio exercises or simply walking.
- Meditation: Meditation practices offers a way to fight back against stress and rejuvenate yourself. Meditation comes in many different forms, most commonly associated with yoga. However, the key is to relax the mind, reduce your thoughts in a quiet and peaceful environment. Some individuals might choose a guided or silent meditation. If necessary, it can also be done in the lotus position, seated on a cushion, in a chair, or even lying down.
- Diet: A healthy diet can help your body fight back against the effects of stress. It can also help ensure that you’re not overeating and provide your brain and body with the nutrients to thrive. Food is digested and absorbed into the body, creating chemical reactions. Introducing healthier options into your diet reduces the chances of consuming ingredients that might induce stress, such as too much caffeine or sugar intake.
Float Therapy and Its Ability to Reduce Stress
What Is Float Therapy?
If you’re looking for additional ways on how to eliminate stressors, float therapy should be on your list of activities. In this type of therapy, guests float in a pod filled with an Epsom salt solution. The water is body temperature, and Epsom salt is high in magnesium, a vital element for the body, and a natural mood-booster and stress fighter.
Floating offers two key components: sensory deprivation and a zero-gravity environment. Guests are treated to a session with no light or sound, which reduces the brain’s ability to process outside sources of distraction, while the weightlessness of the water allows the body to feel like it’s floating on a cloud.
Both attributes of flotation therapy help eliminate stressors and allow individuals to drift away while also experiencing excellent benefits, such as reduced symptoms of mental and physical health conditions. These may include anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, chronic pain and insomnia.
Other Benefits of Float Therapy
In addition to combatting stress, float therapy offers many other benefits. Floatation therapy:
- Helps alleviate migraines
- treatment for fibromyalgia
- Improves muscle fatigue, injury or pain
- Reduces blood lactate levels
- Minimizes joint pain and arthritis,
- Improves mindfulness and awareness
- Increases mental training and visualization, and
- Teaches you how to be good at meditation
Stress deconstructs mental and physical wellness, and the hormones it unleashes on your body can do immense amounts of damage. However, there are significant opportunities to reduce stress levels and live a well-balanced life with the right activities and therapy options.
True REST Float Spa can help make this happen with its offerings of float therapy at 39 locations nationwide. Each spa is luxurious and implements a serene environment to induce complete and total relaxation. Floats start at just $65 for a 60-minute session. Find the nearest location to book an appointment today at truerest.com/locations. And learn more about flotation therapy from True REST at truerest.com/float-therapy.