Stress affects everyone, but the question is – how do you deal with it? Often, we are drawn to alcohols and high-fat, sugary "comfort foods" in times of stress, even though deep down we know they only make things worse. In fact, there are plenty of simple lifestyle changes we can make to reduce stress in the right way. Read on and find out more.
#1 Get in touch with nature
Reconnect with nature to kick stress to the curb. Many studies have shown that our moods take a positive shift when we spend time outside. Being outside in nature is naturally calming. Feeling stressed after a hard day at work? Lace up your hiking boots, hit the trail and go for a walk to regain your happiness and vitality.
Exercise is one of the best ways to fight stress as physical activity causes our body to produce endorphins, known as a feel-good hormone. In fact, people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who do not. It is believed that activities involving repetitive movements of large muscle group can particularly combat stress, such as walking, jogging and running. Let’s get your endorphins flowing.
#3 Maintain a healthy diet
Make the right choice and eat right to manage stress. Eating more healthy foods can offer real stress relief – think nuts, oatmeal, fatty fish, leafy greens. You may consider adding supplements that promote stress and anxiety reduction. Try not to skip meals as having regular meals is key to maintain energy levels and mood. Be sure to avoid mood-damaging junk food, fizzy drinks, processed or packaged foods.
#4 Spend time with friends
Social support can help you get through tough, stressful times. Your mood can improve a great deal if you talk about your problems and share them with those you are really close to. Sometimes a good friend can help you find the right answer, propose a good solution or give you good advice. Or simply a good joke with your BFFs can instantly lift your mood.
#5 Take a yoga class
Get on your yoga mat during times of stress. Practising yogic breathing helps release the stress from your body. When you breathe in deeply, more oxygen goes to your heart, lungs and brain and it, therefore, activates the body’s relaxation response. No time for a yoga class? You can do yogic breathing exercises wherever you are, no matter at work, in an elevator or in a meeting.