Whether your train is delayed, the kids are running amok or there’s traffic on the motorway again, sometimes life can be very stressful. Whilst you may think stress is part and parcel of life and is to be expected, sometimes too much stress can have a detrimental affect on your health and well being. You obviously can’t avoid every stressful situation but there are ways to cut down your chance of being caught out. Here’s 10 of the best ways to cut down on stress.
Plan your day the night before
If you find yourself running around frantically in the morning trying to get ready, you may find it beneficial to get everything ready the night before. You can lay out your clothes, get your breakfast ready and pack your bag so you can grab it and run when you need to go. With all this preparation you might even get extra time in bed!
Get up earlier
So perhaps you’re already super organised but still find yourself stressing in the morning. By getting up half hour earlier you’re giving yourself extra time to prepare so you don’t get that stressful feeling from when you’re trying to get ready quickly.
A problem shared is a problem halved
Do you have so much on your plate you can envision yourself boiling over? Sometimes we let things that frustrate and annoy us build up until we simply cannot put up with it any longer. Once your stress levels have got to that point your blood pressure levels may have risen and it may be starting to affect your sleep. Nip the problem in the bud at the start by sharing your problems with a friend. You’ll be able to get the worries off your mind and discuss a strategic way in which you can deal with the problem without damaging your health.
Listen to music
Listening to calming music is a great way to reduce your levels of cortisol which is often found in the body when you’re feeling stressed. It will also help to lower your blood pressure which will allow you to relax.
When we’re run ragged with our work and home life often we forget to eat properly. By snacking on burgers and chips, crisps and sweets you’re depriving your body of the vital nutrients it needs to help process the extra stress you’re under. Sweet stuff like chocolate only gives you a short mood boost before your sugar levels drop leaving you feeling rubbish. Try to eat as much of your 5-a-day of fruit and vegetable as possible and incorporate fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce your levels of stress.
Have a giggle
Whether you’re having a good laugh with your friends or you’re watching a movie you find hilarious, having a laugh is a great way of reducing your stress levels. Laughing obviously makes your body believes it’s happy which as a result decreases your levels of cortisol and adrenaline. I’d recommend The Inbetweeners Movie for a good laugh.
Think long term
Another way of reducing stress levels is to consider therapeutic approaches to exercise such as yoga, meditation and Pilates. Often these combine mindfulness and exercise to help you focus on yourself and avoid the stress becoming a problem.
Skip the tea and coffee
Coffee and tea is full of caffeine which can result in your blood pressure spiking. When you’re already experiencing a rise in blood pressure from stress it’s not the best combination and could leave to you feeling shaky and anxious. Try switching to an caffeine light alternative like green tea which contains half the caffeine found in coffee. If also contains lots of antioxidants and theanine which can calm your mind and help to reduce stress.
You may go to bed late when you’re stressed as you’re worried you won’t sleep- but this can only lead to further problems. When you’re not getting the daily recommended sleep allowance of 7-8 hours you’re not allowing your body to recharge and recuperate. You’ll start to get really tired which will lead to your mood dropping and the stress getting worse. We always feel better after a good night’s sleep.
Whether it’s a run around the block or a walk in the office, taking a break and stepping away from a stressful situation can help your mood to rise. By moving around you are encouraging your blood to pump which can release endorphins (the happy chemical) and make you feel happier.