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5 Stress-Busting Tips to Try Today

ESTIMATED READING TIME 5 MINUTES

5 Stress busting tips

Ongoing stress damages your health in many ways. As well as affecting your mental health, stress has a major influence on your physical health, too. It can depress your immune system making you more likely to suffer from colds, flu and seasonal allergies and it upsets your digestion. Furthermore, stress throws your hormones out of balance and wrecks your sleep.

But dealing with stress is so much easier said than done. When you’re tearing your hair out coping with competing demands from work, family, money worries and deadlines, it can seem like a tall order to take any time out at all to deal with stress.

Read on for some time-saving stress-busting tips for you to try right now.

Breathe!

Stress-busting tips- measuring stress

This stress-busting tip is really simple and can be done anywhere. When you’re stressed, you’ll tend to take rapid, shallow breaths. This is your body’s natural response to a stressful situation. The trouble is, breathing in this way reminds your brain you’re stressed. Therefore, you’ll carry on breathing shallowly until it becomes an automatic habit.

Interrupt this vicious cycle by taking time to consciously breathe deeply. Don’t underestimate the power of breathing. It’s incredibly effective even if it’s only for a few breaths – in the queue for the checkout, for example, or while you’re in the shower. This will signal to your brain that you are relaxed, and it isn’t in danger.

Your belly should rise when you inhale, and your chest should stay relatively still, meaning you’re breathing using your diaphragm. More breathing techniques can be found here for when you have a little more time.

Say No to Your Phone

Honestly, how much time do you spend on your phone? Are you constantly chasing your tail yet feel obliged to respond to never-ending messages and social media posts? Some people thrive on this interaction, but for others, it can be a real source of stress.

A great habit to get into is to resist looking at your phone first thing in the morning. What you do and see when you first wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day. Mute your alerts apart from emergency contacts when you have a task that needs finishing. You could allocate set times during the day to view and respond to other messages. You’ll probably find you’re far more focussed and productive.

Finally, put your phone to bed a couple of hours before you go. The blue light emitted by your phone’s screen upsets your melatonin production, the hormone helping you fall asleep. Even if you use a blue light blocker, the mass of information on a phone screen will stimulate your brain, so you’ll find it harder to nod off and you won’t sleep as deeply.

Nature’s Natural Stress Relievers

Your muscles and nerves need magnesium to be able to relax. Almost half of all people living in the US don’t consume enough magnesium in their diet 1. There’s no reason to believe here in the UK we’re any better off.

Magnesium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, seeds, beans and nuts and – joy of joys – dark chocolate. However, some people benefit from taking additional magnesium as a supplement in times of stress. Lastly, if you have a spare half hour before bed, magnesium-rich Epsom salts added to a warm bath are a wonderful way of relaxing as it’s believed the magnesium can penetrate through your skin.

Vitamin C and B complex vitamins are also hugely important to help you deal with stress. You can’t store them in your body, so you’ll need a constant supply.

Drink Up!

Caffeine activates your body’s stress response, causing additional stress hormones to be released. Try relaxing teas instead, like chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, passionflower, and lavender teas. These herbs have been used for centuries to gently calm the nervous system.

Guided Imagery

Often described as a short holiday for your mind, this stress-busting tip helps give your thinking brain a break and dials down your stress response. Plus, it only takes a few minutes. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a peaceful scene. Visualising yourself surrounded by nature is especially helpful. This is because the sights and sounds of nature have been scientifically proven to help the body deal with stress.

Imagine the world around you – the sight of trees and blue sky, the feel of the grass under your feet and the breeze on your skin, and the smell of the flowers. There are many recordings available to help you focus on a calming scene, but with a little imagination you can practice guided imagery on your own.

Personalised Support for Stress

If you suspect stress is adversely affecting your health, We’re here to help. We can recommend functional tests to discover how your body is reacting to stress. We’ll then suggest dietary, nutritional and lifestyle methods personalised to you, to combat stress and to repair any damage done. Book a consultation today with one of our practitioners.

References

Did you know you can request a FREE 15 minute Discovery Call

Do you need personalised support for your stress levels? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.

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