07 Nov 2018

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant

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Stress is now so commonplace in the world we live in. Things are meant to be getting easier, but life appears to becoming more stressful, right? So what can we do to relieve stress?

I am going to share with you six simple and very effective stress busting tips that will help you to relieve stress.

  1. Exercise. Get yourself moving, get out and get some fresh air. If you are based in an office, don’t be slumped over your desk every lunch time shovelling a sandwich in your mouth while you answer emails. Go outside, even if it’s for just ten minutes. It will actually make you more productive and it will get some much needed fresh air in your lungs. Exercise is a wonderful way to naturally produce happy hormones. From gentle exercises and walks during the day, to gym sessions, classes or yoga. Make sure you have your regular dose. Even a ten minute walk every day can do wonders.
  1. Avoid caffeine. Drinking lots of drinks full of caffeine throughout the day can actually lead you to feel more lethargic and tired. You might think it’s a quick fix, but it’s really not going to help. Instead, get used to drinking lots more water. If this isn’t something commonplace for you, then start off small. Have a water bottle with you, and ensure you are drinking plenty throughout the day. Water will also help flush out toxins in the system as well. It will also improve your energy levels and will actually make you look and feel more youthful! Many studies have been conducted in this area. You want to be aiming for two litres a day.
  1. Breath. It is commonly known that we don’t breathe correctly. We often take shallow breaths, and don’t fill the diaphragm correctly. This can also impact on our heart rate and stress levels. Sit down and take several deep breaths throughout the course of your day. This won’t only help you start breathing more correctly, but by focussing on your breath, this will allow you to take yourself away from familiar stressful or worrisome thoughts.
  1. Turn off all devices before bed. The bedroom is supposed to be a haven for sleep and relaxation. The majority of clients that come to see me will usually suffer some kind of sleep complaint. More and more we are attached to our devices, and they follow us to bed. Leave all those items in another room. Allow yourself to wind down two hours before sleep time. Read a good book, or have a nice relaxing bath. A host of electronic gadgets in the bedroom will just disturb your sleep either when you are trying to go to sleep, or if you wake up in the night time.
  1. Meditate. Mediation has been proven to reduce stress time and time again, for years. It doesn’t mean you have to be all zen and sit crossed legged on the floor for hours on end. It may simply be 5-10 minutes of closing your eyes and gently focusing on your breath. If any thoughts do pop in (which they will!) simply accept them, and allow them to move on. There is also a whole host of mediation apps you can download. You can also find many different meditations on YouTube.
  1. Check your diet. Are you getting enough vitamins and nutrients? A poor diet lacking in fresh fruit and veg and high in sugar and fat can most definitely contribute to stress. Convenience food isn’t going to cut it, it’s full of all kinds of rubbish and usually high in sugar and salt. The more bad food we are going to put in our bodies, the more it can’t do us any good, and can actually contribute to stress. Prepare food from fresh wherever possible. The actual ritual of spending time as a family preparing fresh and healthy food together and talking though how your day has gone, rather than relying on takeaways and all spending time on your separate devices can reduce stress alone. You literally are what you eat!

Please do let me know how you get on, I would love to hear more. Work though what you can of the strategies above and see what works for you.

Rather than become disheartened or disinterested, look at these new habits and routines as the new you. Set yourself goals to achieve the ones that are right for you. You will be surprised at how you get on and the wonderful changes that you will see!

Janine is the founder of Change for Success. She specialises in working with people to transform their lives. She does this by helping them overcome stress, anxiety and depression. She works with private clients at her consulting rooms in Manchester city centre. She also runs stress management workshops and helps companies and organisations improve their performance by reducing stress in the workplace.
Check out her website for more information and to see what others have said –
www.changeforsuccess.co.uk/testimonials
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