Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Stress is a regular part of our daily lives and everyone experiences it from time to time.
Stress is the way in which our physical, mental and emotional bodies react to everyday demands.
It is an important part of our survival as stress fires a person’s fight or flight hormones. Stress keeps us prepared for both opportunities and danger.
However, when we experience stress without respite it become detrimental to our well-being. This puts our body in a state of “distress” and upsets the body’s ability to stay in balance.
Here are some simple ways in which to prevent and relieve stress.
1) Practice the 4-7-8 breath- whenever you feel overwhelmed or anxious, take a deep breath. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale out for 8 seconds. Repeat this method 3 or 4 times.
This breathing exercise stops your body from being in the flight or fight reaction and shifts it into a parasympathetic response.
2) Get Active- Exercise is a great way to take your mind off stress. Exercise also increases endorphin levels (the “feel good” hormone) and allows us time out from our stressors. A brisk walk, getting up and doing some jumping jacks or dancing to your favourite song will help release some tension.
3) Listen to Music – Studies have shown that listening to music can help reduce your blood pressure and lowers your heart rate and calms your central nervous system. So, put together a playlist of your favourite tunes and listen to them when you feel your stress levels rising.
4) Make a “To-Do” List- It is extremely difficult to think clearly when you are unsure where and what to begin with. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done and in what order and that will give you a plan as to where and how to start tackling your jobs.
5) “Me” time- People get lost in getting through their days without taking time to nurture and care for ourselves. To be able to perform at our peak, we also need invest a little bit of time and effort into doing things that make us feel good. This could be having a massage, reading a good book or booking a manicure.
6) Gratitude- In a life where we find so many reasons to be angry, anxious and stressed, take time out to think about all the many ways in which you have been blessed. Start each day making a note of 3 things you are looking forward to, and before going to bed write down 3 things that you are thankful for.
7) Support- Recognise when things get too much and don’t be afraid to look for help from friends, family and professionals. Commend yourself for identifying the need and be willing to accept external support.