During recent years our lives have become progressively more hectic. We are often juggling our careers and home life, and this has a knock-on effect on our stress levels. A certain amount of stress is healthy. However, it can quickly spiral out of control, leaving us feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. Fortunately there are some excellent ways in which we can reduce stress:
1. Have a laugh
If you have seen the movie Patch Adams, you will truly understand the positive effects that laughter has on the body and brain. Laughter reduces tension by improving blood flow. This oxygenates the entire system, and allows you to relax. Laughing also releases endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) into the brain. So next time you feel like having a giggle, don’t hold back!
2. Have a plan
Do you often feel like you have too much on your plate? By spending half an hour devising a plan for the day ahead, we can save ourselves unnecessary stress and time. This solution is often overlooked – however, being organised and therefore prepared, is an invaluable advantage, and can keep the ugly stress monster at bay!
As with laughter, a little exercise can do wonders for our mood as well as our figure! Take ten minutes in your lunch hour to go for a power walk. You will be amazed at how quickly this will relax you and improve your mood.
4. Avoid caffeine and sugar
Although these (like many things that are bad for you) may seem like a good idea at the time, they are notoriously detrimental for our stress levels. The rollercoaster effect caused by quick fixes will leave you feeling worse and more stressed. You may love your morning coffee and sugar-rush, but if you are feeling fraught, the best medicine is water, green tea or regular tea.
5. Meditation or yoga
Both of these practices are well documented for their ability to dramatically decrease stress. Why not take a class, or even spend twenty minutes in the morning by yourself, quietly doing some breathing exercises. Feel the tension float away!
6. Make your bed extra cosy
A good night’s sleep goes hand in hand with feeling good and lowered stress levels. Take measures to make sure you are getting a healthy sleep and you will wake up with the right frame of mind to help you breeze through the day.
7. Take magnolia supplements
Research shows that magnolia bark extract not only improves metabolism, but also reduces the symptoms of anxiety and stress. This fabulous component will reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone), thus allowing you to feel calmer, happier and above all, a more peaceful you!