"Every day, dedicate
solely to yourself."
A burst of adrenaline every now and again can be exciting. But too much stress isn't healthy - it can upset our natural balance. So try these top tips.
Breathe deeply and relax.
When we're stressed, our breathing tends to become shallow. If you feel yourself becoming stressed, try to become aware of your breathing - regain control and take long, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This will allow oxygen to flow more freely around your body.
Exercise can work stress out of your system - quite literally. Simply because it mimicks the 'fight or flight' response, any stress hormones you do have will be worked out as you work out. So aim to build 30 minutes of exercise into your day, up to five times a week. Just think how good you could look in that Lycra ®.
The 'ideal' amount of sleep people need is around eight hours a night. So you can aim for a good night's sleep by winding down for an hour before you go to bed. Also make sure that you eat your evening meal at least two hours before retiring. Best of all - keep all work-related materials out of your bedroom.
Stress tends to creep up on us when we feel we simply have too much to do. These days, it's tough to avoid being overloaded - but if you buy a diary and plan out your work tasks, social appointments and financial commitments, it should be a lot easier to stay on top of everything.
Eating breakfast can improve your mood and help you beat stress. So eat plenty of high-fibre foods to help regulate your digestive system.
And now the big no-no's. Try to avoid unhealthy comfort foods or alcohol when you're stressed - and go easy on the caffeine too.
Take time for you
It sounds obvious, but just taking time out for yourself can reduce stress levels significantly. Every day, dedicate 30 minutes solely to yourself - snuggle up on the sofa with a magazine, call a friend for a chat, or take a long bath with lavender oil, renowned for its soothing and relaxing properties.