6 Proven Ways To Help You Overcome Stress
Stress, it’s difficult to define, isn’t it? We all have different things that stress us, to different degrees and with different consequences. But there is one thing that’s certain - there aren’t many of us that don’t have some level of stress in our lives.
How we deal with stress is different for all of us too, but here’s six ways that could help you destress next time you’re feeling the pressure…
- Exercise! When we’re stressed, we often feel like reaching for the comfort foods and the TV remote, rather than pulling on our training gear. But regular exercise is proven to both reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boost levels of endorphins, our happy hormones. This dual effect helps us feel less stressed, happier and better able to cope with further stresses.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Equally, when we’re stressed, the thought of eating healthily often goes out of the window and the lure of a takeaway is strong. But choosing healthy options instead will help to prevent guilt setting in, which can add to our stress levels. Also, avoid skipping meals as feeling hungry only serves to make us grumpy and even more stressed.
- Take steps to improve your sleep quality. A lack of sleep might not instantly make us more stressed (although it will put us in a bad mood) but indirectly it can increase our stress levels if we’re lethargic and less able to deal with stress. Follow our perfect bedtime routine tips to help you get a better nights’ sleep.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. If we’re feeling stressed, we might not get enough good quality sleep, which will mean that we’re tired and groggy the next day. Then we inevitably reach for the coffee to make us feel more awake. But high amounts of caffeine can make us feel jittery and anxious. If you drink more than three or four cups a day, consider reducing down to one or two.
- Spend more time with people who lift you up (and less time with those who bring you down). OK, so we can’t choose our family or work colleagues, but we can choose our friends. Make a point of meeting your besties who make you laugh and do silly carefree things or giving them a call whilst you go for a walk. Never underestimate the stress busting qualities of a real good belly laugh!
- Be selective and learn to turn down the things you don’t want to do. Saying no is difficult, but oh-so empowering. It doesn’t have to be rude. A gentle, polite, “no thank you, it’s really not for me this time” will help you avoid those stressful feelings of dread as the event looms. Then send a meaningful text on the day wishing them well and good tidings whilst you relax knowing that you don’t have either grin and bear it or think of an excuse not to go.