19 Ways To De-stress Your Life
Do you feel that life is getting on top of you? It could be time to address the stress in your life.
Whether it’s money, relationship or work woes, it’s reported that almost half the population class themselves as being seriously stressed out at least once a week. It’s important to take stock on a regular basis and ask yourself: is stress starting to impact on your emotional and physical wellbeing?
Keep calm... and carry on
When things go wrong remember, it’s rarely the end of the world. How you react to a situation will have an impact on how effectively you resolve it. If you find yourself screaming, yelling and crying when something goes wrong, your body and mind needs to recover from the exertion of your physical response. So by having a huge meltdown you are not only dealing with the initial issue, your body also has to try and recover from your reaction.
Ever feel like you are drowning in a sea of ironing? You were born a woman – not a skivvy! It might be a huge shock to your other half or the kids, but you are not pre-dispositioned to be solely responsible for the housework. Remember, ‘Homes aren’t havens for the people who work in them...’ Anyone that is able-bodied should be able to help with domestic chores. Divide them equally or use pocket money and beer money to pay for a cleaner.
Get a relaxing room
Everyone needs a safe haven, an area that they can ‘hide’ and relax in. It should be a place that makes you feel safe and calm. Whether it’s the conservatory on a sunny day, or even a comfy seat in the loft! Find your bolthole – it should be a place that has no noise or distractions – no TV, no phones. Just enjoy the peace and quiet.
Are you making stressful situations even worse?
If you are in a stressful situation it’s important to understand if it is selfinflicted. Some situations are unavoidable, like having to do a presentation for your boss at work and only finding out about it the day before – that’s unavoidable stress. However, if you knew about the presentation weeks ago and decided to leave it until the last minute, when you have a raging hangover and you’ve only had four hours’ sleep... that’s self inflicted stress. You need to recognise that you have put yourself in this situation – putting together a presentation is already challenging but you have exacerbated the situation by putting yourself under even more pressure by not giving yourself time to prepare properly.
Switch off and hang up
Studies have proven that prolonged use of smart phones or computers are linked to stress and depression in women. Have a ‘ban’ time and agree not to use either after a certain time in the evening. Also, try and take breaks away from your computer screen during the day.
Get some ZZZZ’S
If you don’t get enough sleep your body can’t function properly. Work out how many hours you need by aiming for eight hours and going to bed at the same time each night. If you wake earlier or later consistently it might mean you need a little more or less.
Don’t ignore a to do list
How often do you lie in bed awake at night worrying about all the things you should have done but didn’t get round to doing? Whether it’s paying a bill or having an awkward conversation with someone, putting it off will only increase your stress levels.
Make a memory!
Do you ever look back fondly on that evening six months ago when you watched that episode of Eastenders? You don’t remember evenings like that do you? They all blur into one! Instead, do something worthwhile. Yes, you are tired after being at work all day, or at home with the kids, but throw everyone in the car and drive to the beach for chips, or take a picnic to the park – make a memory!
Love hurts sometimes
One of the biggest causes of stress is relationship problems. Whether you are going through a tough time in your marriage, or you aren’t getting on with a parent, it’s important to recognise when a relationship is stressing you out. Remember it’s normal to go through difficult periods in any relationship; it can’t always be plain sailing. If the other person is going through a tough time offer them love and support and try and help them set up a plan to recover. If the issue is between you both then you need to speak to the person and mutually agree to remedy it. If one isn’t willing to, then also realise it’s impossible to rescue a relationship on your own.
Keep fit and eat healthily
How many times have you read advice like this? You need to accept that staying fit and eating healthy food isn’t a hobby or a pastime. A healthy diet shouldn’t be a fad. Doing physical exercise and eating well is what you need to do to survive! It’s as necessary as brushing your teeth! People who exercise have 30 per cent less chance of being depressed than those who don’t.
Go for green!
Green tea is said to help improve concentration, it’s also a great stress reliever as it contains an amino acid that promotes relaxation and it is also full of antioxidants which reduce stress on the kidneys.
Take a deep breath
Taking deep breaths mimics how you feel when you are relaxed. It boosts oxygen levels in the body and can reduce both stress and blood pressure. Take 10 deep breaths to instantly reduce stress levels.
Take up yoga or Pilates
Yoga and Pilates teach the body how to respond to stress, they combine stretching with relaxation and breathing techniques. They are proven to reduce stress levels and will help combat the physical symptoms of stress such as muscle tension.
Avoid caffeine, tobacco and alcohol
Many people think that drinking a glass of wine after a long day, or a cigarette after a bad day might help with stress, but the reality is, they are actually more like to cause feelings of anxiousness and depression. Both caffeine and alcohol are guilty of raising your heart rate higher than normal, whilst alcohol can contribute to feelings of depression.
Be with ones you love
How often do you do something because you feel obligated to? Whether you go on a works night out because you think the boss will look on it favourably, or you spend every Friday night with your in-laws... it’s also important to spend time with people who make you happy and feel good. If you have a friend that has you rolling around the floor laughing, make a point of seeing them regularly.
Social networking is a great way to stay in touch with people, however it’s also important to be able to detach from it. Research shows that using sites several times a day is proven to make people feel dissatisfied and unhappier about their lives. Before the days of Facebook, can you remember when you used to take a picture of your dinner on your camera, get it developed, then trek round all 600 people who have crossed your path over the last decade to show them your dinner? No? That’s because these posts, tweets and pictures are not important in your REAL life! Log off and get a life!
Take a bubble bath
A hot bath will help you relax as the heat relaxes tense muscles. By combating the physical signs of stress, you will in turn tackle the emotional ones.
Go for a walk
If you are stressed go for a walk in a park or green space. Research by the HeriotWatt University, revealed that the brain actually goes into a deeper meditative state in green environments, more so than walking in a built up area. Heriot-watt Lecturer, Jenny Roe, was quoted as saying that, “Natural environments still engage the brain and it is effortless. It’s called involuntary attention in psychology. It holds our attention while at the same time allowing scope for reflection”.
Time to take a break?
We view a break as a luxury, but your body and mind need time out from the daily grind. Get away from your ‘everyday’ life –if you stay at home you just end up finding work to do in the house! Even if it is a budget weekend in a B&B – take time out and relax.