7 Tips To De-Stress
Societies fast-paced, long hours and social pressures, have resulted in individuals feeling under even more pressure and stress. Stress has become a prevalent issue, research from the Health and Safety Executive found that there were 526,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2016/17.
When we are stressed, hormones adrenaline and cortisol increase and the "fight or flight response" is triggered. The primary stress hormone is cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that makes glucose available by increasing the amount sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream. The hormone adrenaline is what provides the boost in energy supply, it increases your heart rate and elevates your blood pressure.
The "fight or flight response" was more important while in the pre-civilization world as it would help us to escape from predators and other dangerous situations. However, we in our modern society are not facing situations as those. So while the "fight or flight response" is an automatic response to times of stress and imminent danger, chronic and constant elevated stress levels can result in many chronic conditions such as hypertension, headaches, low energy as well as mental health concerns like anxiety disorders and depression. Moreover, stress can make other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma and insomnia worse.
Being in a state of chronic stress in which cortisol levels are constantly heightened results in functions that would be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation to be altered or suppressed. The reproductive system and growth processes are cut off, the immune system responses are altered and the digestive system is suppressed.
As we know chronic stress is not good in the long term, here are 7 tips to help you de-stress.
Go for a walk
A quick 20-minute walk outside can genuinely help lower stress levels. A nice walk in the park can help you relax and can also help to clear your mind, helping you think with more clarity.
A short visualisation can help to bring back to centre. Simply sit comfortably in a quiet room and visualise (picture a peaceful scene: walking along the beach, you're on holiday. You can even visualise yourself accomplishing a future goal.
Listen to relaxing music
Choose music that does not have any lyrics in it and is simply instrumental. Type into YouTube relaxing music and lots of different calming and relaxing music will appear. Listen to any of these options while laying down or before you go to sleep.
How long do you spend looking at your phone, computer or tablet? Too much of our time is spent looking at technology, scrolling through social media, reading emails and texting. We are absorbed in information and other peoples lives and as a result, we lose touch with ourselves. Checking our phones often becomes a habit and going an hour without checking it can be difficult. It is important to disconnect, every so often put your phone on airplane mode and switch off your laptop. Don’t check them for at least 30 minutes. Merely disconnecting ourselves from our devices can centre us and help us reconnect with those around us and the environment.
Take time off
You are allowed to take a day off! Life is not always about working and making moves. Slow down, living your life at 100mph is not always best, as this can result in burn out. Schedule in some down time, time for yourself, doing something you enjoy and relaxes you.
Spend 30 minutes a day (if not longer) doing something for yourself. Remind yourself that it is okay put yourself first. Allocating time for yourself will help you create a more balanced life, you will be less stressed and in turn you will also be more efficient with your work.
Talking and being social is so important but it also helps you de-stress and relax. Make sure you do not eliminate those close to you because of the stress you are experiencing whether it be from work or anything else in your life. Find or allocate time to spend with your friends and family. Time spent socialising and laughing is a great way to help you switch off.
Watch something funny
Laughter is always the best medicine. Watch a comedy or a viral video, simly laughing can make you feel calmer and help you take your mind off of some of the stresses you may be feeling.
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