We tend to think of stress as being all in our head, and with the right mind-set, we can shrug it off without any harm done.

This is partly true, as it is a mental and emotional response to a problem, but the stress itself can have a big impact on your body.

We now understand that stress can play a big role in pain and injury.

Stress increases the release of hormones such as cortisol, which slows down the immune system.

The immune system is in control of the healing process that repairs bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, all the things that you might have injured.

When this healing process is affected by stress, it takes longer for you to get out of pain and back to your favourite activity.

If you are looking to improve your park run time, lift heavier weights in the gym or just be able to walk to the shops, if your body cannot repair itself very well, your performance will ultimately suffer.

To achieve good health, the body needs to be able to heal itself, and daily stress can put a stop to this.

Here’s 5 ways that can help you reduce your stress levels:

1. Massage

A massage from a good therapist can help to calm the mind and the body. The techniques used are designed to treat the structures of the body, reducing tension and promoting blood flow.

But they can also help to reduce stress and worry from your mind.

2. Hot Bath

Heat has a soothing effect, calming the level of tension in your body and the peace and quiet of a bath will help you leave your stress behind.

3. Meditation

The process of meditation is not as quirky as it sounds, it is just sitting quietly, listening to your mind and allowing it to settle.

It doesn’t have to involve any chanting or drums, and can be done anywhere.

4. Exercise

All types of exercise have been shown to help improve problems like stress, anxiety and low mood.

It doesn’t have to be super strenuous, although that does have other benefits, and doing it outside can be even more calming.

Exercise helps you get out of your mind, and into your body.

5. Social time

Spending time with your loved ones, friends or family and making small talk, or talking through something that’s bothering you can really make a difference.

They say laughter is the ultimate medicine!

Using some of the strategies above, might just be the missing piece to your health and fitness puzzle.

If your injury or pain isn’t going away, or you are interested in one of our Massage Packages, contact call 020 3488 2698 where we can give you some advice over the phone or send an email by clicking here.