Sunday, 22 November 2015

Stress Less: 10 Quick and Easy Tips

Are you tired of feeling stressed? Stress really isn't supposed to be a large part of everyday, modern life, we've just made it that way! – Here are some weird and wonderful ways to help manage it on those days that a second morning coffee just isn't enough. 

You can do them easily, anywhere. So next time you're stuck in traffic, the kids are being difficult, or your partner is driving you around the twist, try one or all of these…
1. Chew gum
simple - chewing gum can relieve mild to moderate stress…say researchers from Melbourne's Swinburne University … trying this one should be easy peasy!
2. Eat chocolate
Swiss scientists call it the "chocolate cure". A clinical trial in Lausanne found eating 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced the stress hormone cortisol in people who reported feeling "highly stressed"… i don't know anyone who hasn't tried this one!
3. Get a cat
Owning a cat could bring stress levels down enough to reduce your heart attack risk by a third. A 10-year study of 4000 Americans found pets helped relieve stress, with most people who took part in the study owning a cat…but I’m sure most pets would bring fabulous results, cats aren't for everyone!
4. Keep a diary
writing down your feelings in a diary  to get all those emotions and feelings out of your head can help avoid stress build-up, says Dr Matthew Lieberman, a neuroscientist at the University of California…. I know this one works for me - I have been doing it for years…and most of the time I’m quite chipper :)
5. Do some yoga
Yoga puts the body in a state of deep rest, a state widely known as the relaxation response. It is believed that during relaxation, oxygen intake reduces and psychological stress levels drop…I really want to learn how to be a good and disciplined yoga student! I need a lot, and I mean a lot of practice. It is definitely a long term goal I would like to accomplish.
6. Hum a tune
humming a few verses of your fave song can ease the stress cycle for a while. It is believed that humming helps relax tense muscles, blocks out the thoughts racing around our heads and makes sure we breathe more deeply and calmly. Mmmmmmm … A moment of peace…. OK, confession time, I’m a mad hummer. I’ve been known to hum my husbands ring tone for way too long after he calls. And yes we can be walking along the street, me humming; he’ll look at me and say, “Humming” to remind me to stop. Stopping is not guaranteed. I like this one…it works for me :)
7. Blow up a balloon
Blowing up a balloon does two important things for stress relief: it makes you breathe deeper, because you have to use your diaphragm, and it makes you breathe more slowly. Both these things reduce heart rate and relax our muscles….anyone with kids, that have had to do this for a party - in the backyard while said children are clinging to your legs wanting each balloon as you blow it up, may disagree with this method…if that’s you, hand the balloons to nearest adult, lock yourself in the loo and count to 10 slowly and calmly -  as you breathe in and out in a somewhat relaxed manner.
8. Snack on walnuts
A handful of walnuts daily (about 18 walnut halves) helps lower blood pressure, which can rise from stress… can the walnuts be on top of carrot cake? I hope so. I’m trying this one!
9. Have a laugh
You can stop stress in its tracks with a laugh. Just thinking about laughing can start a chain reaction in your body that reduces the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and dopac, says researcher Dr Lee Berk of Loma Linda University in California…. This is a no brainer and works every time - we all need to do lots more of it! Go forth and get your laughing pants on people! I like it!
10. Ring your mum
Phoning your mum and hearing her voice is as good as a hug for stress release. A study in the US found that when young girls were suddenly put in a stressful situation, the sound of their mum's voice reduced stress hormone levels and boosted levels of the comforting hormone oxytocin…. No argument here. We all need our Mums!
11: bonus tip... Sleep
No explanation necessary, there is no better way in my book to relieve the day's stresses...than a good night sleep,  an afternoon nap, a lazy Sunday morning sleep in or even a 5 minute cat nap in your lunch break. Get more sleep! Everyone benefits !

Chill everyone, it's good for your health :)

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