Stress Busting Strategies

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Stress is without question one of the most pervasive negative factors people are exposed to, and when stress becomes chronic, it can lead to a variety of psychological and physical conditions ranging from depression to angina.  


Indeed, if you’ve ever had a “stress headache” then you can see the effects of stress are not just emotional - stress affects your body, and can cause serious health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.  There’s evidence to suggest that stress can even cause cancer, on the basis that stress affects things at a cellular level, thus unbalancing the body’s optimum state homeostasis, therefore, compromising the immune system.


Suffice it to say, stress is bad for you.  That said, stress is a natural part of life, and there’s no way to “avoid stress” as such, only to better manage the stress you experience as a natural result of life.


In that vein, below you’ll find some stress busting strategies to help you better manage your levels of stress.  


It’s important, first, to recognise that not all stress is bad though - there’s something known as eustress which is a positive form of stress that stimulates people and motivates them to perform better; this is the sort of stress one might feel when giving a presentation to an audience or in a fight-or-flight situation.




  1. EXERCISE

Exercise is proven time and time again to be stress reducing.  That said, some people find themselves addicted to exercise, and end up over exercising, which puts a little too much stress on the body and can be bad for you.  You might have heard of the term “overtraining” which highlights the need to rest as part of your exercise regime.


Group exercise classes can be particularly good for stress relief, as they have a social element that tends to be more engaging that running on a treadmill.  Dancing can be a fun and enriching experience that engages your mind and body.


Then, if you’re looking for something a bit more hardcore, boxing is a great stress buster, that many people use simply for fitness without any intention to fight… or at the other end of the spectrum, swimming can be a very peaceful way to let go and unwind.



2.  DISCONNECT

There are many ways you can disconnect, for some people, it’s as simple as reading a book whilst for others they want to lose themselves in a game and experience Final Fantasy XV like never before by creating a whole gaming room.  Then, for other people, it can be taking themselves out for a walk in nature which is a very grounding way to disconnect from the stresses of life, or to practice yoga or meditation.


Whatever works for you, it’s important you take the time to disconnect.



3.  NURTURE YOURSELF

Whether this is a warm candlelit bath, with some relaxing music, or a massage at a fancy spa - taking the time to nurture yourself and replenish your energy by chilling out in this holistic way, is vitally important.


In this vein, you want to make sure you get enough sleep too.  Most people require between six and nine hours of sleep each night to perform at their optimum, and the more rested you are, the better you are able to cope with stress.

Ellie Dickinson