19 Ways To De-stress Your Life

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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.

Del­e­gate

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.

Log off

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.

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