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Ways to combat stress

15th Apr, 2020

Ways to combat stress

While we all have been asked by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to self-isolate and to practice social distancing during the global coronavirus outbreak, Your World has written a blog about ways to combat stress.

During these times of uncertainty, where we don't know what the future holds, it's normal for our cortisol levels, also known as our stress hormone, to increase. Although stress isn't a medical diagnosis, it can cause medical health problems.

With "Stress Awareness Month" being held every April in the UK since 1992, Your World couldn't think of a better time to offer you a helping hand.

 

Stay hydrated 

There are two reasons why you should keep yourself hydrated. One, drinking water reduces stress, and two, it boosts your energy.

By keeping yourself hydrated, your cortisol levels, the stress hormone, is lower, thereby equipping you better into dealing with everyday problems. Studies have shown that dehydration leads to higher cortisol levels, so drink up!

As for boosting your energy, staying hydrated reduces your fatigue. The more water you drink, the more hydrated you are, the bigger the flow of oxygen, your brain and heart receive. When you're dehydrated, your heart has to work twice as hard to pump oxygen to all your body organs, making you tired and less alert.

 

Sleep 

Four factors affect the quality of your sleep; these are:

  • Health
  • Environment
  • Attitude
  • Lifestyle

Sleeping well is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health, as it helps you recover from any mental and physical exhaustion. It's as essential as our bodies eating, drinking and breathing.

When you don't sleep, you become agitated, less patient and tired, which also increases your cortisol levels. With most adults needing 7-8 hours of sleep per night, when you have a good sleep routine, your quality of life and work improve significantly. 

 

Meditate 

When you encounter a stressful situation, your body automatically reacts in a way that prepares you to either fight or run. This is your body's stress response, otherwise known as your fight-or-flight response. 

What meditation does, is that it affects the body the opposite way stress does. Meditation triggers the body's relaxation response and restores the body to a calm state, helping the body repair itself and prevent new damage from happening.

Meditation also improves:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing 
  • Blood pressure 
  • Immune function
  • Cortisol level – a stress hormone
  • Mind – your mind ages at a slower pace.
  • Boosts creativity

 

Listen to a Podcast

Sometimes all you need is a dosage of reassurance or guidance to relax, and a great way to do so is by listening to a podcast.

 

Here are seven podcasts that will help you to de-stress:

  • Relation hypnosis for stress and anxiety:

 https://www.spreaker.com/show/relaxation-hypnosis-for-stress-anxiety_1

 

  • Relaxation therapy tips: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/relaxation-therapy-online/relaxation-therapy-tips

 

  • The wellness couch:

http://thewellnesscouch.com/category/bqs

 

· De-stress podcast:

https://destresspodcast.podbean.com/

 

· Boring books for bedtime:

https://player.fm/series/boring-books-for-bedtime

 

· Anxiety slayer:

https://player.fm/series/anxiety-slayer-with-shann-and-ananga

 

· Crazy wisdom

https://player.fm/series/crazy-wisdom-2510644

 

Be productive 

While we're in lockdown, some, if not most of us, feel as though we're not productive. To help you overcome that feeling, here are a few tips: 

  • Write down three small goals and tick them off every day
  • Invest in a new hobby
  • Start an online course

When you stimulate the mind with productivity, you feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

Remember to laugh 

Every time you laugh, you're improving two areas; body and mind.

Ways your mind responds to laughter:

·      Provides distraction

·      Improves your mood 

·      Reduces stress hormones 

·      Increases endorphins 

·      Strengthens relationships 

 

Ways your body responds to laughter:

· Stimulates your organs

· Relaxes your muscles

· Improves cardiac health 

· Boosts immune system 

· Lowers blood pressure 

· Helps with weight loss 

 

Other ways to combat stress:

There are various sources of help you can turn to during the self-isolation and social distancing period. Charities such as Mind and Samaritans are here to help if you need a little guidance.

Other forms of treatment include:

· Take the stress test: https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/advice-support/sleep-tools/stress-test/

· Ecotherapy 

· Medication 

· Talking Therapies 

· Complementary Therapies