5 Simple steps to de-stress

Stress doesn’t have to ruin your life or your health. Constant stress — whether from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or heavy workload —can have real physical effects on the body. It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, appetite problems and even heart disease.

With the busy, jolly period ahead of us we have come up with 5 simple tips on how you can de-stress and make the most out of the festive season:

 

1. Stay positive.

Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

2. Meditate.

This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Meditation’s close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body.

3. Exercise.

Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintains a healthy weight.

4. Unplug.

It’s impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Cut the cord. Avoid emails and TV news. Take time each day — even if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutes — to escape from the world.

5. Find ways to take the edge off your stress.

Simple things, like a warm bath, listening to music, or spending time on a favourite hobby, can give you a much-needed break from the stressors in your life.

 

For more information on National Stress Month and how to deal with stress please visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/understanding-stress.aspx?dm_i=3IW9,7224,2ZSF6R,OW3K,1