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Stress – Why We Shouldn’t Let It Control Us And What To Do About It


I was having a chat to some of my mummy friends the other day and everyone said they wanted some “Me time!”.

It was agreed that we all cherish the times when the kids are playing together at soft play and we get 5 minutes to just sit and have a cuppa with some conversation other than about Paw Patrol or having to rush to the shops, change nappies, preparing the dinner, do the nursery/school run or heaven forbid hit those important work deadlines.

Even my parents who are meant to be enjoying the best years of their lives in retirement are constantly on the go. I rarely see my mum sit and relax she is a “Doer!”. Always has been but now she has my 106 year old grandma to care for too, so has two houses to look after which are 30+ miles apart, a week’s worth of dinners to prepare for Nan, do all her washing, ironing and not to forget the gardening. I mean the list goes on and that’s without her busy bowling schedule!

Stress is everywhere! We cannot escape it but what we need to do is control it and not let it take over our minds and bodies! Stress can be a very destructive animal and needs to be put on a leash if it gets out of control as let’s face it in today’s world stress cannot be eliminated totally.

The most alarming thing is most people’s lives are ruled by stress and they don’t even know it.

We hear this all the time in the clinic. Clients tell us how stressful their jobs are and when they get home there is no let up and they never get time for some rest and relaxation and I get it as I am a bit of a workaholic! Problem is most of us don’t know what to do for the best to find those ever so important spare minutes or hours in our day to unwind and look after ourselves, so we don’t burn out.

Now don’t get me wrong we all need a bit of stress in our lives to be able to hit those work deadlines and to stop us falling asleep after lunch but the problem is too much of it and our health and minds start to suffer.

Below is a list of the effects of Stress. See if you are currently struggling with any of them, you might want to take stock of your life if you are:


  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Digestive problems such as heartburn and or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains (back, neck and shoulder especially)
  • Anxiety and or Depression
  • Accelerated aging
  • Premature Death


I am sure you will agree none of the above are a pretty bunch of ailments.

When we get stressed our body releases stress hormones called Adrenaline and Cortisol. These hormones flood the body within seconds and redirect the blood from your organs to your muscles to be able to react to danger. You may have heard of the “fight or flight response”. This is a natural response that we developed way back when we were hunter gatherers and needed to run away from threats and when we needed to defend ourselves.

This leaves your vital organs deficient in blood supply and reduces the amount of oxygen available to them.


So, when stress becomes a chronic problem this lack of blood supply and oxygen leads to a clogged up body system that can’t get the nutrients it needs which is why you will feel tired and your body struggles to rid the waste products, which also doesn’t help with you feeling healthy and energetic.

What I’ve done this week is put together for you a few tips and tricks that I’ve used myself to help control stress and you can start using these as soon as you finish reading this article.

Stress is here to stay so we must learn how to manage it and achieve balance in your life.

Now for the Stress Busting Tips!


Movement is a great healer – there is no truer word said. Exercise comes in two different forms.

Working Out – This is the type that gets your heart rate up and you sweating and breathless. Running, cycling, going to the gym are just a few to mention.

Gentle exercise – This is the type of exercise that helps too as it helps focus your mind, gets you moving, stretching and relaxing. Walking, gentle swimming, Pilates, Yoga are all types of great gentle exercise.

Exercise has some great stress-busting benefits as is releases the hormones called Endorphins which make you feel great. Do you remember feeling fab after that Pilates class or after you achieved that 5km run? Brilliant wasn’t it! Well that feel good feeling was down to your Endorphins being released.

Endorphins have another benefit in that they are released in response to some brain chemicals and have a pain relieving effect in the same way morphine does. So, it’s a great natural pain reliever meaning you can start to ditch those pain killers and anti-inflammatories just by starting to exercise.

Exercise is like meditation in that it forces you to think about the exercises you are doing and forget about life, work, worries.  This results in optimism and feeling energised, helping you to clear your mind and create a sense of calm.


Talk to a friendly ear – another old saying but “a problem shared is a problem halved” and this is so true. Talking to a friend or family member about your worries will help calm things down. Keeping things to yourself is never a good thing. If you don’t feel you can talk to a friend, try a professional counsellor if needs be as sometimes talking to someone who you don’t know is easier if the stressor is too close to home.


Have fun! – Don’t stay locked up indoors. Get out and see friends and family and go and have a good chat and a giggle. Laughter really is one of the best medicines. If you don’t fancy going out, try watching a funny film or comedy show. You will feel so much better after a good giggle.


Finally let’s look at those gadgets! Turn off that mobile phone. I do this from time to time on a Sunday and wow my Sunday’s are so much nicer without checking Facebook, getting interrupted by messages or calls. Get outdoors for a walk. In our beautiful UK autumns wrap up warm and go for a walk and take in some fresh air or read a novel that you can escape in. You will start Monday’s working week feeling much more ready to hit the ground running and you will be more productive.


If none of the above grab you why not treat yourself to a nice relaxing massage?

Massages work brilliantly to help you feel relaxed and refreshed and ready to face life again. Get one booked as this will mean you have committed yourself to some real “me” time.

I love nothing more than a relaxing massage. Always makes me feel great and ready to face anything. It really can recharge the battery.


So, my last words to you this week are to act today and start getting control of stress before it ruins your life. As Bobby McFerrin sang “Don’t worry be happy!” 😊

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[ebs_iconheading type=”h4″ style=”glyphicon-user” icontype=”glyphicon”][/ebs_iconheading] About the Author
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About Wendy McCloud

is the founder of The South East’s Leading Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.

Wendy’s background includes working as an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist working as part of Mr. Ali Al-Sabti’s Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain.

Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeons. More recently Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr. Matthew Sala.

Wendy worked in National Level Rugby Union for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. Wendy resigned from her position as Head Physiotherapist at Southend RFC in June 2011 to open WDC which has become the fastest growing clinic in the South East of England.

WDC is now a large multi-therapist speciality practice in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

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Wendy founded WDC in September 2006. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. Within the NHS, Wendy worked as a Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist as part of an Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain. Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon. More recently, Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex-based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr Matthew Sala. Wendy also worked within the national rugby union as the head physiotherapist for Southend Rugby Football Club. She led the medical service at the club for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.
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