The body is designed to handle short bursts of stress but long term stress can be damaging and difficult to manage. Feelings of being ‘burnt-out’ and the inability to cope with our normal daily routines are becoming increasingly common.
Here are some top tips to help to help control and reduce stress from our Wellness experts at Lifehouse:
- Sleep is a great healer and improves our coping mechanisms. Establish a routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time. Aim for 8 hours.
- Exercise is a wonderful stress reliever. Not only does it burn off mobilised energy, occupy your brain and help improve your sleep but studies also show it reduces stress related symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
- Lighting a scented candle or using essential oils will help reduce feelings of stress. Scents such as lavender, sandalwood and ylang ylang are especially soothing. Aromatherapy can also help to improve sleep, which will in turn help reduce stress.
- Meditation is an excellent way to quieten the mind. If you are a beginner and are not sure where to start, you are able to find many guided meditations on YouTube, Spotify and apps such as Headspace and Calm.
- Yoga is an increasingly popular method of stress relief. by focusing on both body and breath awareness yoga appears to reduce stress and anxiety. Again, if you're a beginner and you're not sure where to start, YouTube is a great place to begin.
- Caffeine can overstimulate the production of stress hormones and cause heart palpitations. Reduce coffee and black tea and replace with light green tea that contains much less caffeine. Green tea is full of potent antioxidants proven to lower blood pressure and counteract free radicals.
- Reduce sugary snacks, cakes and biscuits to avoid overstimulating the adrenal glands.
- Vitamin C is helpful to combat stress and can be found in rosehips, broccoli, salad greens, bell peppers, parsley, kiwi fruit, strawberries and citrus fruit.
- B vitamins are used up in greater amounts during periods of stress so consider supplementing with a daily B-complex.
- Fats are used by the body to produce adrenal hormones. Beneficial fats can be found in avocados, coconut oil, butter, flax seed, hemp seed oil and oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines.
- The herb Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwaganda, builds up core energy, and as the name describes, improves sleep.
- Include the Peruvian root Maca in smoothies. It is very supportive in times of stress.
- St Johns Wort is an ‘all round’ nerve tonic and is not just for lowered mood and depression.
- The use of flower remedies is an excellent way to keep stress and emotions balanced and gives the opportunity of dealing with stress in other ways than those in which we have conditioned ourselves to react. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a good combination or the Australian Bush Flower combination Emergency Essence.
- It's important to take time out for yourself - whether that be as simple as getting out into the garden for some fresh air or curling up with a good book, making time for you crucial.