• Health – Beat the stress in your life

    We live incredibly stressful lives, juggling family, career and other responsibilities. All the stress is getting to us, and studies have shown that if left unchecked, stress can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and even heart attacks. It’s not easy to get away from stress, but there are some things you can do to actively reduce stress.

    While all the running around at the office can increase your stress levels, running around outside the office can greatly reduce them. Besides being great for staying in shape, exercise boosts your body’s endorphin production which, decreasing your body’s hormones. You don’t have to get an hour or two every day either, only 20 minutes of exercise a couple of days a week is enough to become more stress free.

    After you’ve hit the gym or ran around the block, you’re going to be hungry. Eating a healthy diet will not only provide your body with the right kind of fuel for your next appointment with your personal trainer, it’s also great at reducing your stress levels. Junk food and refined sugars can spike your energy, but ultimately leave you feeling sluggish. A healthy diet low in sugar and filled with fresh fruit and vegetables will help keep you alert and reduce your stress.

    They say rest is the most overlooked part of an exercise routine, and our stress levels often increase when we’re tired. A good night’s sleep is essential for recharging your batteries and preparing you for the next busy day, enabling you to better cope with the pressure at the office. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, so after your healthy dinner, grab a book and hit the hay early for a change.

    If you really struggle to relax, perhaps it’s time you take a break and get away from it all for a bit. Nothing helps you to recharge better than disconnecting from the rat race for a couple of days. When you feel your stress levels rising and your weekends filled with social activities, take a couple of days’ leave and get out of town for a bit, ideally where there is no cell reception. Switch off your phone, put away the tablet and let your computer ‘sleep’ a little bit longer. They’ll still be there when you get back, and you’ll feel revived and strong to pack your busy schedule by the horns.

    One of the best ways to reduce stress is to breathe. It sounds so simple, but deep breathing is very effective at reducing stress, because it makes your body feel like it does when you’re relaxed. Think about your breathing when you’re sleeping. Deep breathing boosts oxygen levels and has been shown to lower blood pressure. Give yourself ten minutes a day where you switch off and sit quietly by yourself and focus on your breathing. The positive effect it will have on your stress levels is amazing.