Posted by: The Personal Truths team
The Oxford English Dictionary describes stress as ‘A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.’ Well, what exactly creates those adverse and demanding circumstances? Wellbeing specialists at Forth* have an answer. They conducted a survey among 2000 residents in Great Britain to find out how prevalent stress is in the communities across the whole of the UK. Statistics are worrying as they show that at least 85% of the respondents felt stressed regularly. The most common stresses involve money, work and health.
When we feel stressed, a hormone called ‘cortisol’ is released into the bloodstream. High cortisol levels can raise blood pressure, increase weight gain and lower immune function. Stress is a silent killer and learning how to deal with it is crucial, especially after a life-altering injury. Today we’ll share our top tips on how to help manage stress.
#1 Regular exercise
Regular exercise is extremely important as it can help to reduce cortisol levels and is a good way to feel energised. Just 20-30 minutes of exercise, three or four times a week can help to ease stress levels. Active exercises, – such as kickboxing, football or strength training, are good ways to let out aggression and reduce cortisol levels straight away.
Another way to release cortisol is aerobic exercise, such as jogging, walking, biking, cardio training and other activity that increases heart rate. Regularly taking part in these activities can help to reduce stress constantly. In addition, exercise can help raise self-esteem, increase strength and in general, elevate your fitness to a whole new level.
#2 Avoid drugs and stimulants
The use of drugs and stimulants can destroy the immune system and possibly result in more problems. Although some people feel that caffeine will produce enough energy to help them power-through, ultimately it can result in higher stress hormone cortisol levels. Instead, it’s advisable to switch to herbal tea and plenty of water.
#3 Healthy eating
There are certain foods that can help to lower stress. For example, a soothing cup of chamomile or mint tea might help to evaporate all (or a part of) your worries. Another stress fighting food is dark chocolate which is full of antioxidants. In addition, fatty fish that is full of Omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and sardines help to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, increase brain activity and combat stress.
#4 Plenty of sleep
An established sleeping routine can help to combat tiredness. Going to sleep and waking up at a similar time each day is key to creating healthy sleeping habits. Having bedtime rituals also helps with maintaining a healthy sleeping schedule. Activities, such as taking a relaxing bath, reading a book or having a cup of tea might help you to fall asleep faster.
Please note that this article was produced by The Personal Truths team as information only and should not be regarded as advice.