Although stress is unavoidable in life experiences such as moving house, distressing situations such as the death of someone close, or when feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of work, exams or simply making ends meet, there are some positive things we can do to relieve stress, simply and naturally.
Don’t risk long term health problems, if stress is becoming a problem and you are suffering physical effects of stress including stiff neck and shoulders, or headache, call the practice today on 01962 861188, and let us help you with the symptoms as well as with strategies to cope with the stress in your life.
Below are some top tips on relieving stress compiled by the team at Bradford House
1. Eat Well
Rushing from one place to another with school runs, after school clubs, fitting in a busy job, shopping and 101 other things every day, often means that meals are rushed and snacks on the go are often of the sugary, fatty variety from a vending machine or corner shop. Try to plan ahead – have a supply of fruits and veggies on hand for day time snacking, make time for lunch, choosing foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the symptoms of stress (for example a tuna and mayo jacket potato).
2. Have a Cuppa!
Novels, films and TV dramas often feature someone brewing up a cup of hot, sweet, tea at a stressful time. However, green tea is a better choice. Packed with antioxidants and an amino acid (Theanine) that is known to calm and soothe the nervous system, it also contains much less caffeine than coffee or ‘energy’ drinks so it won’t cause a rise in your blood pressure either.
3. Listen to Music
Relaxing music can do more than just soothe the mind. Research has shown that music can reduce levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, lower blood pressure and release endorphins. Soothing sounds of the ocean or rainforest have similar, calming effects and are widely available on CD.
4. Have a Giggle!
Laughter is often the best medicine! It is known to decrease levels of the stress hormones, Adrenaline (known as the fight or flight hormone) as well as levels of Cortisol. Interestingly, it is possible to give yourself this boost by thinking of something or someone that genuinely makes you smile while looking into a mirror and allowing yourself to smile back at yourself. Having a good laugh with friends is a great antidote for stress, but if that is not possible, watching a favourite comedy clip (there are literally thousands on YouTube) or even playing it over in your mind can really help.
5. Phone a Friend
‘A trouble shared is a trouble halved’ – or at least that’s how the saying goes. Just having the opportunity to talk over a problem with a trusted friend or family member can help you put things back into perspective.
6. Give Yourself a ‘Pep-Talk’
When it’s not possible to discuss the problem with a friend, have a little talk to yourself. For example, if you are stressed out about meeting a deadline at work, remind yourself of all the times you have delivered on time and reassure yourself that it will all be okay this time too. Practising positive self-talk really helps with self-belief and lowers stress levels.
7. Take Some Exercise
You don’t need to commit to hours in the gym to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. Just a 20 minute stroll in your lunch hour or standing up and moving around while taking an important phone call can help to deal with a stressful day or a particularly stressful moment. Even walking will increase blood flow that releases mood-enhancing endorphins, helping you to feel better.
8. Practice Breathing!
How often have you been in a stressful or scary situation and only realised that you had been holding your breath when you gasped for air? Consciously taking a deep breath helps to clear your mind and oxygenate your blood. Breathing exercises, part of many Yoga and Pilates classes, can calm the mind and lower the heart rate and are worth investigating as a tool in your stress-reducing arsenal.
9. Practise Mindfulness
This is not a quick fix, more a lifestyle change. Mindfulness can incorporate physical exercise such as Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and mental exercises such as meditation as a way of ‘rewiring your emotions’ to change the way you react to triggers such as stressful situations in your work or family life. Mindfulness can stop stress from becoming a problem. Numerous courses are available, check out https://mindfulnesshampshire.co.uk for courses in the Hampshire area.
10. Improve Your Sleep Quality
Stress causes difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep. Lack of sleep causes more stress and can become a vicious circle that is hard to break. However, there are positive things you can do. For example, ask your Winchester Chiropractor about supplementation.
Stress is unavoidable! In the short-term, it can actually be beneficial but in the long term, chronic stress leads to a compromised immune system, weight gain and even premature aging. You owe it to yourself – and your family to take care of yourself. Follow our stress reducing tips and seek further help if you need it.