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10 Ways to Deal With Stress

We all experience stress at times, it’s part of life!  Whether we are frustrated with technology, social media, being stuck in traffic, surrounded by people and noisy environments our stress level is directly affected. How we deal with stress can mean the difference between being resilient and staying vibrantly health or becoming unwell and ageing prematurely. 

So, check in with yourself….

Are you experiencing any of these signs of stress?

  • Prolonged periods of poor sleep
  • Regular headaches or migraines
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Feelings of isolation, withdrawal or worthlessness
  • Constant anger or irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Continual worrying or obsessive thinking
  • Excessive use of stimulants
  • Inability to focus

The key is knowing how to listen to your body and be aware when your stress levels are high.  Being able to recognise when we’re stressed allows us to focus and choose how we react. It’s important to know when we need to take a few deep breaths.

Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.

  1. Schedule Regular Exercise – Moving your body at least 30 minutes each day, even a daily walk, makes a difference.  Regular exercise balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, to help flush out stress hormones.
  2. Create Work/Life Balance  –  Spending the majority of your time working, whether it’s at the office or from home is like being the mouse on the wheel.  All work and no play is a recipe for stress and burnout.  Block out dates in your calendar to make time for fun, either alone or with family or friends.
  3. Practice Meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong or Dance  –  Mindfulness practices create a state of calm and restore balance to the body’s fight-or-flight hormones. Mind-body awareness practices bring our attention to present moment, to listen, to feel and connect with our body. Research in the field of mind-body medicine tells us that this is at the core of many health problems and diseases.
  4. Avoid Alcohol and Stimulants  –  Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress, but long term can make stress worse and have negative impact on health.
  5. Food as Medicine  –  Supporting our body with whole food, plant-based diet means we are well-nourished and better able to cope.  Start the day with a good breakfast, eat more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.
  6. Get More Sleep  –  Make sure you are getting seven to eight hours of sleep, so your body will cope with stress as well as it could. Try adding extra meditation time if stress is preventing you from sleeping.
  7. Take a Holiday  –  Getting away from the day to day, increases your mental and emotional outlook, lifts your spirit and makes you a happier, more productive person when you return home. For best results leave your laptop at home and go somewhere there’s limited or no mobile coverage!
  8. Find a Hobby  –  Research shows engaging in activities that bring us pleasure and joy can reduce anxiety levels almost by half and lower heart rate.  Bonding with a pet for even a short time, gardening, reading, listening to music or doing something creative.
  9. Keep a Stress Journal  –  At the end of your day, write in your journal.  Empty on to the page anything that worries you or that may have been stressful in the day.
  10. Connect with Your People that Support You   –  Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Make sure you have people around you who support you for who you are and what you do and who are there to listen when you need them to. If you are unable to make positive changes due to negative thoughts and overwhelm, it’s time to reach out for help… you may consider working with a mentor, counsellor, or therapist.
  11. Make an appointment today—your health and life are worth it.

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay