Stress less in five min­utes

Tak­ing time out to re­group and re­lax is time well spent

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

when­ever you are feel­ing over­whelmed and up against it, the best thing to do is stop and take a breather. Redi­rect­ing your fo­cus for a few min­utes may not seem prac­ti­cal in the heat of a stress­ful mo­ment but we prom­ise you’ll be glad you did.

When the body’s stress re­sponse is al­ways on high alert, hor­mones run amok and make it harder to func­tion well. Long term, this can lead to tummy trou­ble, headaches, foggy think­ing, sleep dis­or­ders, weight gain and low­ered im­mu­nity. All for the want of a sim­ple break in pro­ceed­ings? That’s nuts! Try these stress busters:

LAUGH

Youtube a co­me­dian. We love Brit stand-up funny guy Michael Mcin­tyre but there’s so much choice you can eas­ily end up spend­ing a lot longer than five min­utes gig­gling. And that’s a bad thing, why?

STEP OUT­SIDE

Sun­shine, fresh air and a change of scenery can calm and help you re­fo­cus. Whether you’re bogged down with work, ar­gu­ing with the kids or try­ing to come up with a so­lu­tion to a prob­lem, a brisk walk around the block or the park im­proves blood and oxy­gen flow to your brain.

SNUG­GLE WITH A FURRY FRIEND

It’s hard to feel stress when you’re lov­ing your favourite kitty or pup. It’s all about oxy­tocin, the feel-good hor­mone that’s re­leased dur­ing a warm em­brace. Don’t have a pet? Watch some funny/cute an­i­mal videos. Or make the time to hug a per­son you love for a few quiet min­utes.

JUST BREATHE

Fast, shal­low breath­ing, the kind we do with­out re­al­is­ing it when we’re su­per-stressed, in­creases feel­ings of anx­i­ety. In­stead, close your eyes and con­cen­trate on tak­ing slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Keep at it for a minute or two.

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