STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPS
Stress comes in a variety of ways and is not as some people think, a sign of weakness. Stress is the compound build-up of an effect that can range from physical stress like sitting at a computer for long periods of time to emotional stress, like relationship issues. Regardless of the cause, and the results are the same and results in the body’s gradual degradation in its ability to cope. Some of the side effects of stress can include:
- Physical pain and immobility
- Digestive disturbances such as reflux, diarrhoea, constipation
- Weight gain/loss
- Poor memory
- Low libido
Here are 10 simple tips to help you combat the effects of stress to help you become healthier and happier.
Be organised– In many cases causes of stress are as a result of being overwhelmed. Particularly in fast paced society, high demands are placed on our time. Being organised means you are more efficient withy your use of time and therefore less stressed. Write things down on paper, get things out of your head.
Positive reinforcement– Positive thinking helps create positive feelings. If you are constantly berating yourself or thinking negative thoughts then this will directly affect your mood and your ability to function effectively. Positive thinking, while not being the answer to every situation, can be a powerful tool in helping reduce stress.
Meditation– Meditation has been proven to reduce stress in the body and assist the body to cope with stress more effectively. If you don’t know how to find a course that can tea you or check out one of the many meditation Apps that can be found on the web. Remember expecting perfection, if you have never mediated, is an unreasonable, so be kind to yourself. It has been said that even the great masters of meditation are only able to achieve a deep mediation state 40% of the time, so there is hope for the likes of use. We recommend a minimum of 10 minutes per day, first thing in the morning, as a start point.
Exercise– Regular exercise enhances the body’s ability to manage and cope with stress by improving cardiovascular and nervous system function. You don’t have to run a marathon, just 30 minutes per day has been shown to have significant benefits.
Diet– There is a huge variety of diets out in the market place and it can be a minefield trying to identify the right one for you. Try to keep it simple. Fresh is best, organic is better. Reduce your reliance on packet food and eat fresh food wherever possible. Avoid bulking agents like bread, pasta and rice and make the majority of your diet lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds. And as in step 1, being organised prevents you from falling into temptation.
Sleep Hygiene– With a much larger reliance on technology today, giving your nervous system a break from technology is vital. Try going technology free from 7pm, to allow your body to gradually relax. That means no TV, computer, phone or video games. We recommend reading with some light, relaxing music in the background to sooth your body towards sleep. Making sure you get a minimum of 8 hours is also important. Even if you can survive on less, it doesn’t men it is good for you in the long run.
Health care plan– Just like a car needs servicing, your body needs regular support. Find yourself a good team of health professionals to help you ensure your body is in tip top shape. We recommend some kind of treatment once a week by visiting a wide range of practitioners including a few of these: – massage therapist, Naturopath, acupuncturist, osteopath and counsellor. A good support group of practitioners will not just provide treatment but also support and encourage towards healthier lifestyle habits.
Time off– All work and no play …. Well you know how it goes. Taking time off to rejuvenate is an important part of any stress management program. If you are working all the time, this is not a balanced life and at some point, the wheels will come off. Remember to have fun. Having time off helps you to get a perspective on things and realise that things that seem so important right now, probably aren’t in the long run. Sometimes walking away from difficult situations and taking a breath can help you come up with better long-term solutions.
Be social– Take time out to spend with your loved ones. It enhances every aspect of your life and help you realise what the important things really are.
Avoidance is futile– Avoiding problems doesn’t make them go away. We all have things occur in our lives we don’t want to face but by dealing with them in an appropriate time frame it means you can move on with your life and stop worrying. If you need support, taking to a friend or professional counsellor can help clarify the issue and the right solution.
Stress is a natural part of life and something we all have to cope with in different degrees. Learning how to apply effective stress management techniques will help you be able to live a healthier and happier life.
For more individual treatment and information and about how you can improve your stress response, contact our Naturopath, Marina Moscato to get professional guidance and support.
Contents of this article is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your registered health professional. All readers are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their health questions.