Simple Stress Hacks
Stress is a normal part of life and how we deal with stress can play a major part in the short and long-term effect it has on our health. Stress has got a bad reputation but it isn’t always a bad thing, and is actually beneficial to make us try harder or find our competitive drive, and controlled mindfully can give us the edge in challenging times.
Sadly for the majority of us stress and its negative effects have become a way of life. Research evidences that when people are carefree and living a life with limited or controlled stressors they are inwardly and outwardly calmer, happier people. Statistics demonstrate that the most common stressor are money, relationships, and work.
We all react differently to stress; some people overeat or drink too much alcohol in an attempt to help them relax. Often its renders people unmotivated, sluggish, and tired all the time, and others overwork, over exercise, and find their brain function is impaired and productivity is decreased despite their efforts. We often think of stressed people as snappy, withdrawn or irritable, but more often than not we are not able to see the damage and effects that are going on within the body that can lead to fatal diseases and illnesses.
When stress levels reach maximum levels we naturally avoid doing simple things to lighten the load, and often do not even want to admit that we are feeling under pressure. There are some simple back to basics ideas to brighten your day, they are unlikely to remove your causes of stress, but they might just help you to deal with them with a cheerier approach.
Reflecting and Reframe the good stuff
Focus on the good things in your life, and be grateful for them. Gratitude is a game changer.
Find 30 minutes a day of ‘you time’ this could include; reading a book, yoga, having a massage, or having a soak in the bath (you might need to get up early to get quiet time before the rest of the household rises!).
Increase Your Happy
We all know being active makes us feel vibrant and we get a boost of serotonin and endorphins, try playing sport, going for a walk, bike ride or trying out a new group exercise class. If the thought of exercise makes you feel nauseous try vigorous housework - its magical.
Eating nutritionally smart will help your body to feel balanced, aim for lots of fruit and veg, and drink lots of water to flush out all the toxins.
Stress has huge impact on our sleep patterns; you could try a guided meditation to help you relax. Science suggests 20 minutes of meditation has the same benefits of an hour of deep sleep.
Ditch your Phone
Whether its social media or e-mails from work, switch off. Set yourself a time to be away from your phone, and leave it out of the bedroom.
Smile and Laugh
Did you know children laugh on average 300 times per day, the average adult – only 4! Try watching a film that makes you laugh, listen to happy music, or spend time with people who enjoy a good old giggle.
Meditate, stretch, read, sing, write - It doesn’t matter what you do, just choose an activity that makes you feel good, makes you smile and helps you to focus on the positive and good things in your life.
The Stress Bucket
A simple and easy method to understand what makes you stressed, and which of these things can be removed, delegated or dealt with to make life easier. The stress bucket is simple, draw a bucket on a large sheet of A4 paper, and write down everything in your life that creates stress, then work through them one by one, give them a priority order and action only the really important ones with a clear plan of how to prevent them re-appearing at the top of the bucket again!
Stress does not have to overtake your life, if you manage and recognise your triggers, and then create simple ways to make everyday a little bit calmer. A final note – lets learn from children - laughter is probably the best health investment and its free.