Stress! It gets all of us. A little light stress can be healthy, but chronic stress is detrimental to our health. It is believed stress caused 60% of illness and disease in our body. With this figure so high it’s a necessity we actively combat it. We all know the end of the year is a stressful time for most. From realising we haven’t yet hit our goals we set way back in January, to worrying about Christmas, finances and the following year. Here I have the important stress busting tips to help you feeling positive and in control.
Top tips for combating stress:
Sit down and write a list of things you need to do, put them in order of importance. Once you have a clear route of action, you will know what needs to be done first. Commit to an hour or 2 a day, twice a week to focus purely on these goals. Slowly they will be ticked off the list and the better you will feel. If you don’t prioritise yourself and your goals, you will end up leaving this earth never having done what you truly wanted. You are the most important thing and your life is yours and yours only. Plan, action and complete!
The second most important to relieve stress! Whether you workout at home (run up and down the stairs 20 times or lay on your living room doing leg raises) – get it in! If you can, get your trainers on and go outside for a run. The key to exercising when you don’t want to is not thinking about it. Put your shoes by the door, get a bottle of water, throw your colourful gym clothes on and out you go. You will be surprised at how much better you feel after, I promise you.
Sleep is crucial! Sleep has catabolic and anabolic phases, this allows weak, old structures in the body to be broken down and replaced by new, healthy, stronger structures. Make sure you are having at least 7-8 hours of good rest a night. Without enough sleep our bodies cannot function properly, our immune system become weak, we feel anxious and our brains cannot process memories correctly.
Laughter is proved to improve your immune system! It can increase the number of T cells in our body which are essential for human immunity. T cells play a huge part in immunity from directly killing virally or bacterially infected cells, to naturally eradicating cancer cells. So laughter = more T cells = healthier immune system! Another benefit of laughing is the affect on our hormones. Laughter reduces the levels of cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormone) so your body can decrease in stress naturally.
Listen to music;
Listening to music you enjoy releases dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter (essentially a chemical messenger in the brain). Like laughter, music also decreases the release of cortisol in the body. Making music, singing or playing an instrument has also been proven to boost your immune system even more than passively listening. Laughing has been linked to an increase in sleep, which goes hand in hand with the benefits of sleep on stress; WIN WIN. So, whether you are doing the washing up, having a shower or sitting in traffic blast your favourite tunes out and feel your energy boost!
Spend time with family and friends;
Spending time with family and friends will strengthen bonds and create a feeling of unity. Your loved ones will chat and laugh with you reducing levels of stress unconsciously. If you feel alone or down, just being in the company of familiar people can help. Good relationships are good for the heart thus studies show they help you live longer. This is believed to be a result of reduced inflammatory chemicals in the blood which could otherwise cause heart disease or other related illnesses. Schedule in a planned family day now!
Get dressed up;
Ladies: Dress up, do your hair, paint your nails, apply the make up and whack on some dazzling high heels! Men: slick that gel in your hair, put that crisp shirt on and blitz the aftershave! Feeling good about yourself is a great way to combat stress. Text the girls or guys and head to a bar or 20! Many years ago, I have been known to sit at home and do my make up and hair just to feel good about myself. So, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have plans to go out, just taking the time to care for yourself is what it is about! Realise your worth, you deserve to feel good so take plenty of pictures and have fun!