Stress is a common phenomena and I speak to more and more women who say that they feel stressed in at least one aspect of their life.
I am often complimented on how calm I appear to be in stressful situations and have been asked to share some of the tools I use to remain cool, calm and collected.
The first thing many of us do when we feel stressed is to do nothing and stay in that mode. Stress is knowing that something is wrong and not knowing what to do to alleviate it. Doing nothing can also lead to the stress spiralling out of control and you can find yourself delving deeper into stress.
Here I will share some quick tips that you can implement today if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Although you may not feel like doing it when you are feeling low, engaging in physical activity is one of the major stress busters. Exercise gets the blood flowing, lifts your mood and releases happy hormones to instantly make you feel good. Exercise dose not mean just going to the gym, it could me going for a walk or try something like dancing.
When we are dehydrated we can loose focus and experience cloudy thinking. To improve our overall well-being including clarity of thought. It is said that we should drink approximately 2 litres of water a day. A good way of gauging if you are drinking enough water is checking the colour of your urine, which should be light or clear. There are apps you download to your smartphone to remind you when to drink water.
We cannot underestimate the effect of healthy eating on our physical and mental wellbeing. I believe that food is medicine and good nutrition is essential for feeling good, coping with stress and living a balanced life. The truth is that stress can have a negative impact on the entire body, including when the ability to heal itself.
Personally, when I have a lot on my mind the first thing that is affected is my sleep. I generally go to bed and fall asleep straight away but I wake up at approximately 2am or 3am. And whatever is troubling me just plays around in my head for an hour or two. Which is not good because sleep is important as it boosts the immune system and it is said that during our sleep our bodies go through different stages of healing and repair.
But some people are the opposite and stress manifests it’s self as oversleeping, staying in bed, and feeling lethargic.
Develop a regular night time routine to help your body wind down from a hectic day and prepare you for sleep. I will be posting more about this in a future.
Before you get ready for bed write down what is troubling you. Or even plan your day the night before with action points if necessary. Journaling helps with finding solutions to your problems. Often, when we put our thoughts down in writing and we are honest with ourselves about how we feel and what blockages we are encountering this can relive stress.
Unfortunately there is so much stigma around therapy and counselling and as result many people shy away from it. I myself have been to therapy and found it beneficial, not only to work through my problems but to find solutions.
It is said that laughter is good for the soul. I truly believe that, laughter releases hormones to reduce stress levels and boost your immune system. So put on your favourite comedy and have a good ole belly laugh.
The ancient art of meditation is becoming more and more popular as those in the western world are trying to cope with the fast pace of life and try and slow things down. Mediating for as little as 10-15 minutes a day is known to assist with relaxation, calmness, clarity of thinking, stress relief and relieve a number of physical and mental conditions.
9) Sexual Healing
Tony reminded me to add this one…Lol. So let’s talk about sex baby. Amongst other health benefits, it is known that sex is good for relieving tension and lowering blood pressure etc. It releases the love hormone, oxytocin and is a natural sedative.
10) Essential Oils
The use of essential oils is very relaxing. My favourite essential oil is lavender, it relaxes me and helps me sleep too. Add a few drops in your bath or on your pillow and night for a relaxing sleep.
11) Spend Time In Nature
The fresh air and being in nature will do you the world of good. I personally love being by the sea or river. It’s where I feel rejuvenated. Tony and I often get up in the morning and decide to head down to the coast for some rest and recuperation.
12) Create A Positive Environment
It is important to have a positive environment. From what you are watching, reading, listening to and the people you surround yourself with, all can have influence to some degree on how you feel about life and even impact on how you feel about yourself. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try and look at these things and make the necessary adjustment. For example, read books and listen to audios that share positive mindset tools. Limit the time you spend around negative people and instead spend more time with those who have an optimist, problem solving and are motivated.
13) Do More Of What Makes You Happy
Make a list of the things that you like doing and then make a note of how often you are actually doing them. I recently did this and realised that I am not reading as often as I would like to. This is something I have started to do more of.
Remember a fundamental factor to stress management is prevention. We’ve heard the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’. And as always prevention is more effective when it is included into long term lifestyle choices.
I hope you have found this useful. Keep these tips close to hand, print out and keep in your handbag or pin on your noticeboard for easy access and reminders when you are feeling overwhelmed. Please do not hesitate to seek medical or professional assistance if you feel you are unable to cope.
Until next time