12 Tips to beat STRESS…
ARRGGHHH Stress!!! Everyone has been stressed at some point in their lives and most of us are probably leading stressful lifestyles or if your not you are going to get stressed out at some point in your life. There are many things that may cause stress. Work, exams, moving house, getting married, a new job, being unfit etc. If you’re leading a stressful lifestyle this can eventually lead to things like depression, cancer, heart disease, and a whole host of other mental and physical illnesses. Stress will also increases your levels of cortisol, the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which harms your fat-burning ability, and damages your quality of sleep. And when you’re stressed your more than likely going to reach for that bar chocolate, binge out on fast food, open another bottle of wine, drink coffee or caffeine fuelled energy drinks. You stay up late, get even more tired and stressed and your cortisol levels get even higher which will end up with your body suffering. Does any of this sound familiar?
So hear are our top 12 tips to beating stress
- Sleep –You should be getting at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night. Lack of good sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness and lethargy, morning headache, poor memory, anxiety and depression.
- Take Magnesium – Magnesium helps you to sleep restfully throughout the night and de-stress. Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system, meaning that if you are deficient your heart rate and sympathetic nervous system will be sent into overdrive. Additionally, lack of magnesium has shown to cause agitated sleep and frequent awakenings. Magnesium also makes your brain work better and improves memory!
- Avoid Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant that increases adrenaline in the body, the very hormone you are looking to reduce. Instead go for a glass of water or herbal tea. One of the best teas to have is Tulsi tea this is best known for its stress-lowering effects.
- Exercise – Even 10 – 15 minutes of exercise will help bring your stress levels down. A High Intensity Interval workout would be best however even going for a short walk, doing some stretching or breathing exercises will help. Exercise also produces endorphins, which are Chemicals in the brain that creates a feel good feeling. That’s why you feel incredible after a workout.
- Take Regular Breaks – You may have deadlines to hit but it’s proven that you will get more done by taking regular breaks. I recommend taking at least a 5 minute break for every 30 minutes worked.
- Have A Power Nap – If your stressed and tired then your going to be agitated and not be able to function properly which will make you even more stressed so if you can take a little 10 -20 minute nap to recharge your batteries. Daytime naps can boost memory and increase productivity, provided they are not too lengthy so that you wake groggy rather than refreshed. You will be surprised how you will be able to function better once you have had rest.
- Turn off your mobile phone – Give yourself a break from your mobile phone, most people have smart phones which has every gadget on them possible so almost one-quarter of the working day is lost to interruptions from e-mails, phone calls and text messages. A failure to switch off from work is driving up stress levels. If you can’t turn it off then just put in in another room so you aren’t distracted by it every time you get an email or text message come through.
- Ditch the junk food – A good diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and low in fatty, sugary and processed foods provides your body with all the nutrients it requires to maintain good health. Eating healthy foods can help the brain to maintain strong levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that has stress reducing properties.
- Drink more water – All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well — and that can lead to stress. Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels. I recommend drinking 1 litre of water for every 25kg of bodyweight per day.
- Get Some Vitamin D – Vitamin D is essential for bone health but it also plays a role in serotonin levels which affect your mood? So if the weather is nice get outside and get some sun.
- Herbs – Herbs that calm include passionflower, St. John’s wort, kava, oats, damiana, chamomile. Those that reduce the effects of stress on the body include Liquorice, Siberian ginseng, rhodiola and withania.
- Treat yourself to a massage – Getting a massage on a regular basis can help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure and promote muscle relaxation it also helps to lower your stress levels and help with the feel good factor.