Stress is one of the biggest causes of pain, chronic illness, anxiety, depression and exhaustion. Low level stress can be the most debilitating, and many of us don’t realise just how stressed we are. In order for our bodies to heal effectively, we have to be out of prolonged stress. Following on from our recent blog about pain and stress, here’s our top 5 easy tips to help start reducing your stress levels now.
Meditation has been practised for centuries, and is becoming ever more popular. Scientific research has shown that meditation or mindfulness practice reduces stress and produces a number of other positive results. Meditation is not about spiritual belief or religion; it is, in simple terms, just about being consciously present with what is happening at any given moment.
2. Get Moving
Go for a walk. Go to the gym. Get on your bike or go out for a boogie with some friends. Exercise keeps the heart healthy and helps deplete stress hormones and releases endorphins; mood-enhancing chemicals which help us cope with stress better.
3. Just say NO
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the amount of commitments you’ve got, start cutting back. Take time for yourself to do something that YOU want to do. You’ll feel less stressed, and find that your concentration and productivity will actually improve. You’ll probably feel a sense of relief and freedom too.
4. Quit the Sugar
Cutting back on grains, processed foods, chocolate, alcohol and some fruits can help to relieve stress symptoms and reset the balance in your body. By losing the sugar kick you get from these foods, your blood sugars will stabilise, leaving you less susceptible to anxious, stressful feelings
5. Be Unproductive
Have a lazy day. Take time out from the world. Take a few hours off from your computer and phone. Dr Frank Lipman says that “sometimes the organ that needs the most care and restoration is the brain” We spend a lot of time working on our bodies but not enough on our mind. Often, if we can reduce our stress levels, we can alleviate a lot of physical symptoms.