DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

STRESS IS PART OF LIFE, BUT IF IT’S INTEFERING WITH YOUR WELL­BE­ING, THESE STRATE­GIES WILL HELP YOU FIND A BET­TER BAL­ANCE

Central Queensland News - - WELLBEING -

In our fast-paced, busy and of­ten chaotic world, is it any won­der stress-re­lated is­sues are com­mon­place? It’s no se­cret that stress can be dam­ag­ing. It changes how we man­age our emo­tions, causes health prob­lems and con­trib­utes to obe­sity and pre­ma­ture age­ing.

Whether we like it or not, stress is a nat­u­ral part of life and a healthy bal­ance of it is ac­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial to our well­be­ing. For in­stance, let’s say there’s a goal you’ve been work­ing to­wards and have been swamped with feel­ings of fo­cus and ex­cite­ment but at the same time short-term ex­haus­tion. This is an ex­am­ple of pos­i­tive stress that helps us im­prove our lives.

It’s when a stres­sor causes a per­son to feel anx­ious, fear­ful or hope­less that we ex­pe­ri­ence the neg­a­tive con­se­quences as­so­ci­ated with the word stress. In re­sponse to po­ten­tial chaos, the body in­creases blood pres­sure, heart rate, res­pi­ra­tion, me­tab­o­lism and blood flow to the mus­cles.

This re­sponse is in­tended to help us re­act quickly and ef­fec­tively to high-pres­sure sit­u­a­tions or, in prim­i­tive times, flee from a life-threat­en­ing event (such as be­ing chased by a lion). How­ever, in this day and age, we’re con­stantly re­act­ing to stress­ful sit­u­a­tions with­out coun­ter­act­ing the ef­fects, which leaves our sym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem hard­wired in “fight or flight” mode. This is where ex­ces­sive cor­ti­sol is re­leased, we drink ex­ces­sive amounts of cof­fee and sugar and find sleep­ing dif­fi­cult. Stress is free to thrive and this is why it’s re­ferred to as the silent killer.

Re­search has shown that the small has­sles of daily life can be the most dam­ag­ing. A com­mon day for many may in­clude wak­ing to an alarm on the phone, check­ing said phone for mes­sages and scrolling through so­cial me­dia feeds.

Al­ready we have al­lowed our state of emo­tions to be dic­tated by out­side in­flu­ences. Next, it’s time for a barista-strength cof­fee — which again sets off the al­ready over­work­ing adrenals. With no time for break­fast (as the snooze but­ton was en­forced too many times af­ter a late-night Net­flix binge), we find our­selves curs­ing at the poor driver in front that is driv­ing to the speed limit. A day in the of­fice brings its own dra­mas and, with no time for lunch, we’re crav­ing sugar and carb-laden foods by 3pm.

We re­turn home, af­ter sit­ting in traf­fic, with­out al­low­ing time to re­lease any of the built-up ten­sion through phys­i­cal move­ment, book­end­ing the day with mind­less eat­ing to dull the de­struc­tion that was caused dur­ing the day.

Day af­ter day, this kind of life­style breaks us down men­tally and phys­i­cally. Here are some tips you can eas­ily in­cor­po­rate to help man­age the daily grind.

1. GO TO SLEEP EAR­LIER

Sleep de­pri­va­tion was used as a form of tor­ture in me­dieval days as it sends us batty, in­creases sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to anx­i­ety and dis­rupts our hor­mone level bal­ance. En­sure you’re not miss­ing the 10pm sleep bus as be­tween 10pm-3am is when we fall into our deep­est REM sleep pat­terns.

2. CLEAN UP YOUR DIET

Re­duce caf­feine, pro­cessed foods, ex­ces­sive sug­ars and high trans-fat food. Whole­foods are best.

3. GET MOV­ING

Ex­er­cise is great for im­prov­ing mood, but only if it’s some­thing you en­joy do­ing. Aer­o­bic ex­er­cise is best and per­formed for 20 to 30 min­utes at a time, most days of the week.

4. STAY IN THE NOW

By fo­cus­ing on the now you are re­mov­ing anx­i­ety that sur­rounds the past and fu­ture. Med­i­ta­tion, yoga or any­thing that brings your at­ten­tion to what you’re do­ing and your sur­round­ings al­lows calm­ness to en­ter the sys­tem.

5. RE­WRITE THOUGHT SCRIPTS

Bring­ing mind­ful­ness to your re­ac­tions will al­low you to let go of re­peated scripts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.