5 Tips to Manage Stress

We know that stress is not good for us, and it’s certainly not fun to be stressed, but what exactly can we do to reduce stress? Given today’s fast-paced society, a return to relaxation doesn’t occur very naturally for people. While we’re all running around in panic mode from our everyday worries, chronic stress is disrupting the natural balance required for prime health. Finding ways to activate the relaxation response is vital. So that being said, here are some stress reduction tips:

Exercise : It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can help alleviate mental stress. Regular exercise can help lower stress levels by releasing those ‘feel-good’ endorphins and help improve your sleep.

Deep breathing : When you are stressed your sympathetic nervous system is activated (your flight or fight response). During this reaction your stress hormones cause physical symptoms such as a quicker heartbeat, quicker breathing and constricted blood vessels. Deep breathing exercises can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the relaxation response). There are many methods of deep breathing, but start with just taking one or two and see how it feels… you may find it becomes an essential tool for managing stress.

Practice calming activities : like meditation or light movement, such as yoga. I always this little and often is best here. Don’t have time for an hour yoga class? No problem, even doing 15 minutes of yoga will help reduce your stress levels. The same goes for meditation, 5 minutes is better than nothing.

Spend time with friends and family : Humans are social beings and having connections with people helps you feel supported. Finding a sense of community, whether at work or through shared activities, can nurture relationships that can be supportive in difficult times.

Finally, and most controversially, put things into perspective : Of course there are times in life that are just rubbish, no explanation. But sometimes stress can be a result of your perspective. You can learn to regulate stress by changing the way you think, especially for those annoying daily hassles. Is it really the end of the world that you were 10 minutes late because of traffic? Try asking yourself how you will feel about the event in a week, month, or year. The odds are you probably won’t remember it. If daily hassles are often at the centre of your stress, you may just need to change perspective.

As always, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to health and reducing stress. What works for someone else might not work for you. So try different techniques at different times and you will soon know the best way to feel relaxed.

If you find it hard to manage stress, feel free to drop me a line, check out my health transformation courses, or book a health consultation here (it’s completely free!).

Love Emma x

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