It is important to keep the stresses in life to a minimum. We must take time out for ourselves to do the things we enjoy. Unfortunately with long work hours, little time to do exercise in the day and the accessibility to take out food, alcohol and caffeine our stress levels are difficult to manage. Did you know that caffeine can increase your stress levels.
Caffeine and it’s effect on your body:
The wide effects of caffeine on the body are well understood to some degree. We all know that caffeine helps to awaken the body by releasing adrenaline which can improve your energy levels to tackle the day ahead. But this is only short term and the long term effect of caffeine can cause fatigue, and add to stress levels which can affect sleeping patterns.
Unfortunately increased caffeine levels increase stress levels. Caffeine, like stress, increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone in the body, that is usually released when the body is under stress. Long term elevated levels of cortisol can have a negative effect on your body’s health and your immune system.
So what does this mean for us? Some experts recommend that caffeine consumption should ideally be less than 250mg (about 2-3 cups of coffee per day); you will not only reduce your stress levels but will also improve your energy levels long term!
Remember, Caffeine is not all bad, it just needs to be consumed in moderation. In fact, it can be found to enhance your physical performance and endurance if not over used. It can also speed up the metabolism and help break down fat efficiently if consumed prior to exercise.
If you do drink a lot of coffee (4-5 cups per day) you should consider slowly reducing your intake over a period of time. If you wish to do so you can speak with your GP regarding plan for reducing your caffeine intake.
How do you know if you’re suffering from stress?
Stress can manifest in a variety of behavioural, emotional and physical symptoms, they vary between individuals and people chose to deal with stress in different ways.
The main physical symptoms that we can assist with include:
- muscle tightness and increased tension (usually seen in the neck and shoulders)
- sleep disturbances
- grinding or clenching of your teeth
- reduced energy levels or a reduction in exercise
Emotional and behavioural symptoms include:
- excess stress at work
- changes in diet, smoking or eating habits
- reduced energy levels
- mood changes (irritable or depressed)
- long hours at work / overtime
- reduced time for oneself
What can I do about it?
There are many ways to combat stress, some of these include:
- Going to bed early to get a better night’s sleep
- Take time our for oneself doing the things you enjoy (yoga, reading, walking etc)
- Start the day off with a healthy breakfast
- Ensure a balanced and healthy diet
- Don’t skip lunch
- Reducing your caffeine intake – drink plenty of water
- Talk to someone about the challenges or stresses you are experiencing
- Participate in regular exercise (at least 30 min per day)
- See your Physiotherapist to manage the physical effects of stress on the body, and discuss management plans to help reduce stress levels.
Breakfast! The most important meal of the day
As breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the life ready physio team regularly get together before work to discuss any challenges or issues they have been experiencing.
Going out for breakfast is a nice way to de-stress, catch up with friends and ensure a good hearty breakfast.
Our top 5 picks for cafes in Perth for breakfast include:
- Sayers- Leederville
- Milk’d- North Perth
- Cantina- Mount Lawley
- Beaufort St Merchant- Mount Lawley
- Mrs S- (Maylands) and Tarts (Perth) tie at number 5!
Please contact us if you have any questions!