Stress is an inevitable part of modern life as we all work hard, have bills to pay and children to raise. Maybe you’ve experienced issues at work, family problems or worry about finances? At some point in our lives, we all feel like it’s getting a bit too much. Stress can be very damaging to your health so it’s important to remember to take of yourself and learn to recognise when stress might be affecting you. Here are some things we should all try to relieve some of the pressures of modern living:
Progressive relaxation – You can do this anywhere at any time. Tense your entire body from toes to head and then slowly work through your whole body and release that tension. By concentrating hard on relaxing every muscle group – your mind will also follow suit.
Breathe deeply – If you look at a sleeping baby, you will see that they breathe from their belly and not their chest. Taking a deep breath and making it include your belly area too has been shown to lower cortisol levels and cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. This leaves you calmer and hopefully feeling more in control.
Listen to music – Scientific research has shown that music relieves stress in many ways. It triggers biochemical stress reducers and is great at reducing stress levels associated with medical procedures and ill health. It doesn’t matter what music it is, as long as it’s something you love and it will calm you.
Exercise – When you’re feeling down it can be hard to get motivated but you’ll be glad you did. Endorphins are released after exercise and this is nature’s ‘feel good’ hormone. It can cut stress immediately and will also benefit your health in many other ways too. It’s a win-win!
Take a break – If you’ve not been away for a break in a while then maybe your stress levels are telling you that now is the time. Maybe try something new that will get you away from the hustle and bustle. Why not consider a rustic, rural getaway? Wake up to the sounds of birds singing and reconnect with nature. For a break in traditional Shepherds Huts, visit cotswold shepherd huts
Take a walk – Getting out and breathing in some fresh air can do you the world of good. A meditative stroll is great for stress relief. Set your own comfortable pace and use the time to clear your head.
Do something arty – Art can be a very effective form of therapy, unleashing your creative side and giving you the opportunity to release some of that pent-up stress. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or even that grand, whatever takes your fancy. The same goes for starting a hobby or craft activity – it can significantly reduce stress related behaviour and symptoms.
Get a pet – If you don’t already have one, you might want to consider whether having a pet would make you happier. Dog owners have been shown to suffer less stress, presumably because they have a friend and also a reason to get out in the fresh air and go for a walk.