Your top 10 tips
In today’s society we all experience moments of stress, from feeling anxious to being under pressure, so it’s important to learn some stress-busting techniques to help you get through a particularly difficult day or moment and keep stress at bay.
In a recent blog we asked you to share your best stress busting tips. We had an amazing response with exercise and going for walks coming out on top as the most suggested ways to de-stress.
We chose the ten best responses and compiled Your Top 10 Stress Busting Tips, adding some extra tips from our stress expert Marianna along the way. So if you’re feeling stressed today or want to know how to manage yourself during stressful situations, breathe, count to 10 and read on…
1. Let off steam through exercise – Jennie said ‘I think it’s important to let off steam with a good workout, and have recently started boxercise which is great for releasing my frustrations. Just to keep the balance, I team it up with a Pilates session which I find a great way to stretch and relax both mind and body’
Marianna says: Exercise is a natural stress-reliever. Aside from helping to produce the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin, it also uses up excess levels of the stress hormones which are constantly being produced when you are feeling under pressure.
2. Calm yourself with a nice long walk – Tina said ‘I find that if I have had a stressful day at work I will plug in my iPod and listen to walking meditation on my walk home. It’s a great way of de-stressing before getting home.’
Marianna says: Going for a walk each day, even in the pouring rain in the winter, can go a long way to relieve stress. It will also give you a regular dose of vitamin D (natural is the best form) even on the cloudiest of days, as your body is exposed to UV light.
3. Take time to relax and try to see the funny side of life – Lynette said ‘I’m a great lover of Meditation, Yoga and trying to see the funny side of things…Laughter is amazing therapy.’
Marianna says: Meditation and yoga both target the way you breathe, slowing it down and allowing your muscles to relax. It then helps you to quieten your mind so that you are able to turn your thoughts away from all of your worries and woes and enjoy some calm and peace.
4. Keep calm and carry on breathing in and out slowly – Margaretta said ‘The easiest way to de-stress for me is to pay attention to my breathing, by breathing out for slightly longer than breathing in I can help my logical brain to kick in whilst relaxing the emotional brain that reacts to stress. Deep diaphragmatic breathing works wonders and once learnt is never forgotten.’
Marianna says: Breathing techniques are an excellent way to calm the body and release nervous tension. Learn some easy breathing techniques that you can use throughout the day to help you de-stress.
5. Distract your stress & relax the mind – Catherine said ‘I have a toy yo-yo which I use when I am stressed and need to think. I find it very relaxing.’
Marianna says: A simple way to calm your mind and cast your stress aside is to distract yourself by focusing on something else such as an activity that holds your attention. Distract your stress by perhaps reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle, squeezing a stress toy, knitting, talking to a friend – do something rather than sitting alone letting your stressful thoughts take over.
6. Keep hydrated – Jackie said ‘Do some stretching exercises and drink plenty of water.’
Marianna says: Any slight dehydration can lead to palpitations. Certain sensors in the body increase the sympathetic nervous system tone, causing a cascade of hormones that aim to retain fluid. These hormones are the stress hormones, obviously contributing to the stress response.
7. Let loose and forget your worries – Maryam said ‘Pump up the music and dance around the living room, that de-stresses me for a bit.’
Marianna says: Find fun ways to let loose and stop stress. All work and no play is the perfect recipe for stress so remember to make some time for yourself.
8. Make a cuppa – Carol said ‘I de-stress, by making myself a relaxing herbal cup of tea, put my feet up & then KNIT & KNIT it works wonders, very relaxing, would highly recommend this!’
Marianna says: Herbal tea is best. Try peppermint tea to calm any digestive symptoms or chamomile tea to help you relax. Even the few minutes spent making a cup (or pot) of tea can help you to take your mind off the stressful situation you find yourself in.
9. Maintain a positive mental attitude – Morag said ‘you should “Be glad” like Pollyanna and skip around the house.’
Marianna says: The power of positive thinking – Just as negative thoughts can wear you down; positive thoughts have the ability to build you up, so focus on the positive side of life!
10. Laughter is the best medicine – Bev said ‘I like to be with someone or do something that makes me laugh. It always helps take my mind off my worries, and feel a bit less overwhelmed.’
Marianna says:Distract yourself by reading something funny, talking to someone who is funny or sharing a joke with someone. Humour helps relieve the symptoms of stress by producing ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain
Want to learn more about coping with stress? For more tips and advice visit http://www.avogel.co.uk/health/stress-anxiety-low-mood/stress/coping-with-stress/