Long-term stress is dangerous if it’s allowed to build up over months and even years. Why? Because it can lead to a whole range of nasty illnesses such as depression, heart disease and stomach problems such as ulcers and IBS.
Fortunately, there are many things we can do to prevent the build-up of stress. So, if you’re wondering how to de-stress, then read on…
Reduce Stress with 8 Simple Tips
1. Get moving
Take the dog out for a walk, go ice skating, enjoy a game of tennis. Being active improves your physique by helping you lose weight and get the circulation going, but it also releases ‘feel good’ endorphins which help combat stress.
2. Cut out caffeine
If you’re feeling stressed at the moment then cut back on your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a stimulant which kickstarts the central nervous system, making you jumpy. It also negatively affects sleep. Experts recommend taking no more than five cups of coffee a day.
3. Eat a balanced diet
Eating too many salty, processed foods and high sugar snacks adds to your stress levels. It also makes you feel low once the sugar high has gone. B vitamins and the mineral magnesium can help regulate both stress and your mood. You’ll get these in vegetables, fruit and wholegrains, as well as nuts and seeds. Eat plenty of fish for omega 3 and oils too.
4. Think about supplements
Being deficient in vitamins and minerals can affect your stress levels. Taking supplements that contain stress-relieving properties, such as magnesium, Ashwangandha, L-theanine and B vitamins may help. Making sure you get a good amount of these can also help with your mood.
There are a huge variety of supplement options out there including traditional daily tablets or greens powder - find out what works for you!
5. Stop procrastinating
Keep on top of your priorities, both at home and work. Otherwise you run the risk of running around like a headless chicken always trying to catch up – and never quite getting there. Now that’s stressful. Writing a ‘to do’ list can help you get better organised. So too can being more realistic about what you can get done in a certain amount of time.
6. Do some self-care
Administer a DIY-massage with a roller ball and your favourite essential oil. Or, burn a lovely scented candle while lying on the sofa reading. Have a hot soapy bath with a glass of wine and some ambient music. Find a hobby you love that you can get totally immersed in. In other words, do something just for you.
7. Cuddle up
Get a hold of your other half and have a cuddly night in. Physical contact is great for stress. That’s because it can lead to the release of the feel-good chemical oxytocin and, at the same time, lower cortisol levels. It can even help if you suffer from high blood pressure. And it doesn’t have to be with a human either…
8. Spend time with Rover
Either a dog or cat – any type of pet, in fact – can make you feel better when you spend some quality time with it. The adoration you get from your dog does wonders for self-esteem, while stroking the soft warm fur of a cat, rabbit or guinea pig can release oxytocin.
There are, of course, other things you can do when wondering how to de-stress but the above are easy to implement and if you’re feeling worn out and tired, then definitely worth trying.