We all feel stressed from time to time, when life’s pressures become overwhelming and a deserted beach seems seriously appealing. Whether it’s work, family or money worries, it’s all too easy to feel bogged down with problems and struggle to see the positives. However, if you’re mindful of stressful feelings building within you, there are several ways of reducing that unwanted tension before it affects your health and wellbeing. Some methods are practical, while others involve adjusting your mind-set. Read on to discover how to lower stress levels this week…
Exercise is the answer to most things, and it definitely helps alleviate stress. Just taking a break and focusing on yourself will improve your mood; all those endorphins running through your body after a workout have been shown to improve wellbeing. Exercising could be called ‘moving mindfulness’ because when you’re focussed on a particular sport or class and thinking about your breath, the mind is far more in the moment which is essential for relaxation. Choose any form of exercise you like: yoga, walking, swimming, a game of tennis – anything to get you up and out.
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When we feel tired and stressed, our first instincts may be to grab a coffee or unwind with a glass of our favourite tipple. While this may feel great at the time, ultimately it’s not what your body and mind need. Firstly, it’s an avoidance behaviour and won’t help deal with the source of your stress. Too much caffeine can elevate cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and alcohol can disrupt sleep and cause a low mood. Instead, swap to decaffeinated drinks and save wine for the weekends.
It sounds so simple, but when you’re having a stressful week, snuggling up with your partner or asking a friend for a hug may totally slip your mind. It’s actually what you really need. Both laughter and physical contact are huge stress relievers and relax our bodies and minds, so it’s a good idea to schedule some time into your day for these things. Organise a girls’ night in and watch a hilarious movie, go to a comedy show or call your funniest friend for a good catch up. If you have a pet, make time for some lovely dog or cat cuddles too! You’ll feel so much better.
As women, we tend to run around all day looking after everybody else then come six o’clock you realise you’ve barely sat down at all. Sound familiar? You could be doing too much and creating added stress in your life trying to get everything done as quickly as possible. Time to have an in-depth look at your week and be strict with yourself. Write a day-by-day plan with a to-do list in order of priority. Think about what can be left until tomorrow or a few days’ time and focus on the urgent jobs today. Knowing you have a schedule in place will instantly relax you.
It might not be your first thought when attempting to unwind, however setting yourself a new goal or challenge can actually help you deal with stress by building your confidence. The NHS website reveals that by continuing to learn and developing a wider skillset, we become more emotionally resilient. “It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time,” writes Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at Lancaster University.
If you’re focusing on wellness at the moment, consider including a quality food supplement like Lumity’s into your regime. Along with a balanced diet and exercise routine you will look and feel your best, all day, every day.