Stress has a physiological affect on our bodies… such as when you’re nervous you get sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Stress can be beneficial, particularly in life threatening circumstances when your ‘flight or fight’ mechanisms kick in.
However chronic, long-term stress is very detrimental to our health – increased cortisol levels (the ‘stress’ hormone) generate free radicals which then go onto damage the DNA in our cells. This damage can lead to disease states such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The following are 10 tips to help you de-stress on a daily basis, leading to a healthier, happier YOU! Tweet This
Partaking in even 15 mins of quiet introspection each day can reduce anxiety and stress, helping you to feel calmer, be more aware and have increased energy.
Sip on herbal tea at the end of your day
Sitting and having a cup of tea at the end of a busy day is a nice way to wind down. Herbs such as valerian, hops and chamomile have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and promote a restful sleep.
Get enough sleep
There is always debate about how much sleep we actually need. Most experts recommend getting 6-8 hours per night. I believe everyone is different, with different circumstances. You may be a person who has no children and feels at their best after 7 hours of sleep, or a mother of 3 who gets woken up at least once a night and has to get by on 6 hours a night plus a nap during the day… whatever works for you, as long as you’re doing your best to get the amount that helps you to thrive.
Sweat it out
Partaking in regular sweat sessions is a great stress buster as when we exercise our body burns up excess energy, sweats out toxins and releases feel good hormones such as serotonin.
Enjoy some You time
Whether it be a massage, reading your favourite book or watching a movie, taking time out to recharge your batteries is a great way to re-balance and de-stress. My favourite ‘Me Time’ activity is take a long soak in the tub. Mix 1 cup of Magnesium Epsom salts and 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil into the bath water, pop on a natural face mask and submerge yourself in relaxation heaven!
In our busy lives it is even more important to make time to connect with your family. Simply sitting down to a meal together and talking about each other’s day, or catching up for coffee with that aunt or cousin you haven’t seen for a while will not only help you to feel relaxed but re-affirms the bonds with those most important to you.
Fluttery by social butterfly – get out there and dance it up with your friends, have a games night, throw a party just because. Sometimes our friends are the family that we actually got to choose and making time for them will give you a sense of belonging and increase your overall happiness.
Pursue a hobby
Hobbies can be social or singular – lawn bowls, cooking, painting, knitting or gardening are just some examples that can bring your stress levels down whilst giving you a sense of accomplishment.
Mindful art therapy
The latest creative craze to hit our streets is mindful art therapy – a.k.a colouring in for adults! It’s reminiscent of our childhood days where you would spend ages completely engrossed in colouring in a picture, making sure to stay in the lines (or not if that was your thing). Another great way of focusing a cluttered, stressed mind.
Vent your frustrations
Sometimes the best way of decompressing is to get off your chest whatever is stressing you out. Talking to a family member, friend, colleague or even counsellor, or if you prefer sitting in a quiet corner and journalling out your feelings, can have immeasurable health benefits.
Yours in health,
Better Health Channel 2015, <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/meditation>
Bone K 2003, ‘A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs’, Elsevier
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