Stress is something that everybody deals with at a point in their lives. A little bit of stress can actually be good for us if it’s in the right dose. It can help protect us in danger and make us perform better when needed. However, if you are in constant state of stress it can begin to take its toll, physically, mentally and emotionally, resulting in a range of health problems, some very serious. The problem is most people these days deal with stress on a daily basis. There is so much pressure put on us from all areas of life, including work, family and friends. Unfortunately, life is going to get stressful at times, and in order to live a happy and healthy life we need to learn how to deal with stress effectively. I used to get stressed out about so many things, some of which were nothing to stress out about at all. Over the years though, I have learnt many techniques and tools that help me effectively deal with stressful times in my life. I’ve even created a 7-day mind reset plan that can help change So next time you feel that stress creeping in, try out some of my stress-busting tips below.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep isn’t just about looking good in the morning. When you don’t get enough sleep, this can have a major impact on your hormones and mental clarity the next day. When you lack sleep over a long period of time, it can lead to depression, weight gain, a poor immune system and many other health problems. A bad night’s sleep will also raise your cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone. Having increased cortisol levels can lead to glucose insensitivity and consequent weight gain, food cravings, high blood pressure, and poor brain function.
2. Clear the clutter
In order to feel relaxed, it’s important you have an environment in your home that is free from mess and clutter. This just adds to any stress you are already experiencing. So when things feel a little chaotic, get cleaning and clear out any clutter and mess that is lying around. Whilst I know cleaning doesn’t sound very fun, you will feel a lot better after doing it. If cleaning your whole house feels a little daunting, then pick an area or room in the house to focus on. Create a space that is clear of clutter to be a space where you can unwind and relax. Add in things like candles or relaxing aromatherapy oils to your new space. Let this be a place that you relax in, so no phone and no computers allowed.
Exercise can be a great stress-busting tool and you don’t need to spend hours at the gym to reap its benefits. As little as ten minutes of exercise can get your bodies endorphins pumping and put you in a better mood. However, it is important that if you are overwhelmed with stress in your life, that you don’t overdo it with exercise, as this can then lead to more stress on the body. A gentle walk or swim, yoga and tai chi are all great forms of exercise that help with stress.
4. Nourish your body with good food
Food can have a major impact on our bodies, and even more so when we are dealing with stress. When our bodies are stressed we crave all bad things like simple carbs and sugar. However, these foods are terrible to eat when stressed and they can leave us feeling even worse, especially when the sugar crash hits. Instead, eat whole foods that fill you up and nourish your body. Try and eat mood-boosting foods like fatty fish, walnuts, whole grains and plenty of vegetables. These foods will leave you feeling happier and healthier.
5. Slow down and breathe deeply
A very effective method to reduce stress and anxiety is deep belly breathing. A few minutes of deep breathing per day may assist you becoming more resilient to stress and calm you down. Deep breathing has also shown to reduce your heart rate and lower blood pressure. If you feel stress creeping in, then find a quiet space where you have no distractions and just spend a few minutes with your eyes closed and completely focused on your breathing. Try and make your breaths nice and slow, filling up your belly as much as possible. You should soon feel a wave of complete calmness wash over you.
6. Have a good laugh
Laughter really can be the best medicine and sometimes as adults we take ourselves far too seriously. If I’m ever having a bad or stressful day, I always feel so much better if I go and do something silly that makes me laugh. Over the long term, laughter has shown to improve your immune function, relieve pain and boost your mood. So spend some time with girlfriends for a giggle, watch a comedy or do something else that will turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile. Ensure you have a good laugh and make sure you laugh often. Your body will really thank you for it.
7. Change your mindset
Are you a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person? A lot of stress can be dealt with effectively by simply changing our mindset towards it. Rather than looking at everything as a problem start to see if you can find the good in a stressful situation, or take a lesson that needs to be learnt. Find gratitude each day, don’t take things so seriously and learn to let go of things you can’t control. The moment you can learn to take control over your mindset, and switch it to be more positive, you will find it a lot easier to deal with stressful situations when they arise.
We are never going to be able to eliminate the things in life that cause us stress. However, we can learn to control the way we react when those stressful times occur.