HABITS THAT MAKE YOU BEND, NOT BREAK

Hav­ing a han­dle on the phys­i­o­log­i­cal ef­fects of stress pre­pares your body and mind to re­spond with re­silience.

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - YOUR LIFE -

GET YOUR ZZZ TIME

Dur­ing deep sleep, your brain sorts and files your thoughts and ex­pe­ri­ences from the pre­vi­ous day, giv­ing you a fresh per­spec­tive that en­ables you to prob­lem-solve. Sleep also bol­sters im­mu­nity, and it’s eas­ier to pull your­self to­gether emo­tion­ally when you’re not run-down or sick in bed. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

MOVE YOUR BODY

Get­ting your 30 min­utes of ex­er­cise a day trig­gers feel­good en­dor­phins as well as gamma-aminobu­tyric acid (GABA), a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that qui­ets neg­a­tive think­ing. To­gether, these can help you through a tough time. Stud­ies have also shown that reg­u­lar ex­er­cise is a mood el­e­va­tor and can as­sist sig­nif­i­cantly in the treat­ment of de­pres­sion, help­ing you main­tain a pos­i­tive out­look.

BREATHE DEEPLY

Med­i­ta­tion can be as sim­ple as fo­cus­ing on a sin­gle thing, like your breath or a calm­ing word. Re­search sug­gests that prac­tis­ing it reg­u­larly may shrink the amyg­dala, re­duc­ing stress and even chang­ing elec­tri­cal ac­tiv­ity in the brain, mak­ing you more alert and calm. That’s just the kind of clear­head­ed­ness you need in a cri­sis.

EAT ENOUGH

Your body, like any other en­gine, needs fuel. When food is scarce, your sys­tem routes what en­ergy it has to essen­tials, which can leave parts of your brain, well, hun­gry. It needs at least 20% of the kilo­joules you ab­sorb to solve prob­lems ef­fec­tively, so get your three squares or five mini meals – what­ever keeps you on an even keel.

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