Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month?
With this in mind and the recent announcement from Theresa May you may be feeling a bit more stressed than usual so I thought now is a good time to share with you my 11 guaranteed stress busters. But first, you need to know why it is so important to deal with stress…
Why should you take steps to reduce your levels of stress?
Long term stress can result in headaches, muscular tension, acne breakouts, digestive disorders and much worse. In medical terms, when your body is under stress it is taking the fight or flight response; the basic primitive response to prepare you to fight or run. Hormones including cortisol are released into your bloodstream which increase the heart rate, make you breathe faster and your digestion is halted. However when you don’t have the chance react in this way these hormones remain in your body and have a long term negative impact on your health. This will continue unless you can stimulate your body’s relaxation system.
Your body is amazing.
As well as having a stress response you have an in-built relaxation response, so here are 11 Guaranteed Stress Busters to help you trigger it….
11 Guaranteed Stress Busters
#1 VISUALISATION – Elicit the relaxation response by closing your eyes and visualising your favourite holiday destination with picturesque views, or any peaceful scene. Can you imagine the sounds and scents of your peaceful place?
#2 BREATHE…DEEPLY – it’s so easy to fall into the habit of shallow breathing which in turn stimulates the body’s stress response. The good news is that breathing deeply stimulates your relaxation response as this naturally occurs when your body is in a state of relaxation. It’s so simple and so effective. Take some time out every day to breathe deeply for 5 or 10 minutes and remember to do it when you feel very stressed.
#3 LAUGH! Laughter is a tremendous way of reducing stress. It causes feel good chemicals to be released which counter the negative effects of stress. A good chuckle relaxes the whole body and also boosts your immune system. Why not have a look a You Tube for some fun short videos or watch your favourite comedian or comedy film?
#4 TAKE A 10 MIN WALK IN A GREEN SPACE Evidence shows that walking in a green space induces a meditative state.
#5 JUST SWITCH IT OFF! Don’t be switched on 24-7. Turn your phone or tablet off, especially at night to allow yourself to wind down. The habitual checking of your phone for texts, messages, emails and posts can become stressful and an added pressure. With the ongoing coverage of Brexit and the snap General Election it can become easy get worked up about what you read or hear. Make sure you take time out and try not to over-think or over immerse yourself in all the politics.
#6 LISTEN TO THE MUSIC YOU LOVE This is another feel-good-chemical releasing activity. Crank up the volume to your favourite tunes and sing-a-long. Listen to your favourite music fills you with happy hormones and is excellent at stimulating the relaxation response.
#7 GET CRAFTY! Dr. Herbert Benson, founder and president of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute recommends the “repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity” to elicit the “relaxation response”—decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. The repetition in combination with the fine motor skills being used for activities like sewing, knitting or jewellery making that can help to soothe anxiety and stress.
#8 SLEEP WELL It’s easier said than done for many including new mums, night shift workers or just long term insomniacs. Don’t give up on getting a good night’s sleep or power naps. Think about your routine before bedtime, do activities that switch off your mind, have a warm bath, cut down on your caffeine intake, read before bed. A good night’s sleep is paramount to good health and relaxation.
#9 INDULGE There is some sense in that old saying ‘a little of what you fancy does you good.’ Eating or drinking something sweet – from natural sugars not artificial sweeteners – limits the production of stress hormone glucocorticoid. Remember “a little!”
#10 AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE A study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found that moderate to high anxiety levels of the emergency room staff in summer fell from 54% to 8% once staff had received a 15 minute aromatherapy massage while listening to music. Why not give yourself a foot or neck massage? Or you can always book a 30 Minute Aromatherapy Foot Massage
#11 YLANG YLANG
This is nature’s rescue remedy. Ylang Ylang is a lovely oil because it’s chemical constituents work on the part of your nervous system that stimulates the relaxation response. This is the key ingredient in our De-Stress Aroma Pulse Point Roll On.
Life is all about balance. Don’t beat yourself up if your work and home life is so demanding that you don’t have time for relaxation. Even if you can just begin with giving yourself 5 minutes of quiet time each day that’s a start! Book time out of your diary, write it on your calendar…..watch a good comedy Sat night….go for a 10 minute walk Sunday 10am…..meditate for 5 minutes when you wake up.
Try and work some relaxation time into your schedule to help your body cope with stress. Remember, it’s all about balance.
Would you like help finding out which therapy may be the best to help you de-stress? Call me on 020 8419 8143 or contact me here.
Looking for some products to help you de-stress? Take a look at the Balance and De-Stress Set here.