Don't let stress take over your life, follow these tips

Don't let stress take over your life, follow these tips

While we are all living such hectic lives, it can be difficult to take time to focus on ourselves and notice the effects that stress can have not only on our mental wellbeing but also on the physical.

Today is National Stress Awareness Day, and most will admit they’ve felt stressed at some point in the last few months. To help combat this Jay Brewer, Nuffield Health Professional Head of Physiology, offers his top tips on avoiding stress.

Stress is often considered to be a mental state, however, having a stressed-out mind can often manifest itself in the form of physical ailments such as headaches, stomach issues, skin problems, sleeplessness and weight gain. Due to the fact that these issues can be linked to a number of other health problems, the root cause can often be overlooked, resulting in an on-going cycle of stress-related problems.

If you are struggling with such symptoms, it may be worth looking at your current emotional wellbeing to determine whether or not health issues could be being caused by stress. If this is the case, there are a number of things that you can do to help relieve the physical and mental symptoms:

Concentrate on the task in hand – rather than trying to complete lots of different tasks at the same time and stressing yourself out, focus your attentions on one thing at a time. This will enable you to do a more thorough job and should also help you to remain calm. If you need to respond to an email, just respond to the email – don’t try and respond while eating lunch, making appointments and finishing other pieces of work.

Breathe! – While it sounds obvious, taking as little as a couple of minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing can be extremely therapeutic and can help you relax. Letting things build up can lead to a feeling of being out of control, however, deep breathing can help to focus, put things into perspective and manage the tasks in hand more efficiently.

Be more mindful – enjoy the moment and stop worrying about what is going on later in the day/week/month! Try to have some time to yourself each day, even for a cup of tea or to read a book to help you to wind down. Also, try to enjoy time with friends or treat yourself to a massage and enable yourself to completely switch off for some well-deserved me time!

Exercise – as well as releasing endorphins (happy hormones), exercise can help you to channel the stressful energy that you are experiencing to relax your muscles. Endorphins also help to raise self-esteem and reduce anxiety in order to further help to reduce the symptoms of stress. Combine with a healthy diet and plenty of sleep to ensure that you are functioning at your optimum capacity.

Life coach Sophia Davis suggests that taking just five minutes a day for ‘you’ can help decrease stress levels. Taking a moment for ourselves helps us to gain a greater sense of calm and clarity. This helps to decrease our stress and anxiety levels, therefore leaving us more relaxed.

There are also scientific health benefits behind many of Sophia’s go ahead! tips. For example, hugging instantly boosts oxytocin levels, healing feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger and laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

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