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The five essentials for beating stress

By Janice Haddon , Glassdoor  


We all encounter pressure everyday. Tight deadlines in work, missing the bus for an important appointment, whatever it is, daily occurrences can trigger the ‘stress response’ in your body. The stress response – or ‘fight, flight or freeze’, sends your adrenaline soaring so you get motivated to deal with the situation at hand.



Mostly we are able to cope with this kind of pressure, but when it is ongoing and we exceed our personal capacity to cope, it can turn in to full blown stress.



So to avoid the slippery stress slope, boost your wellbeing and inner resilience by following these five essentials:



1.       Time management

Be organised, manage your time and prioritise so you stay in control of your day and keep the pressure in check. Set yourself goals. Keep a ‘to do’ list of what needs to be done and by when. Keeping it all in your head just means that you are giving your brain extra work to do as it is constantly trying to keep everything in your current and short term memory. Write it down and free up some processing capacity!



2.       Eat well

Having a good balanced diet is a foundation stone. You can’t drive a car without the right fuel so consider what you eat. Eat breakfast to kick-start your metabolism and eat regularly. Cut out refined carbohydrates such as white flour based foods and sugar. Craving sugar is a tell tale sign of stress. Foods such as dark green vegetables, lentils, turkey, avocado and sesame seeds are packed with tryptophan so will help combat the craving.

You need vitamin B to help combat stress, so reduce your consumption of substances that deplete it from your body in the detox process, such as sugar, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.



3.       Exercise

Exercising regularly means you will keep your endorphin levels up – your body’s natural ‘happy’ hormone, which will counterbalance any of the negative chemicals whizzing around your body when the pressure is on. Find an activity that you enjoy. Whatever it is, get up and move. A good brisk walk will work wonders.



4.       Drink up

Make sure you drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush out the toxins from your system. Cut back on tea, coffee and fizzy drinks. Fizzy drinks are packed with chemicals and sugar. They cause untold damage and have been linked to increased health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, liver damage and Alzheimer’s.



5.       Relax and sleep

Relaxing activities, hobbies, meditation, colouring, gardening and things like yoga, all have demonstrable positive effects on your wellbeing, so find ways to switch off from your ‘to do’ list. Make sure you get enough sleep so your brain can file things into longer-term memory and your body can repair and regenerate.



Remember what is motivation to one person, can be stressful to someone else. We are all different so it is important that you understand yourself. Make sure you stay on the side of motivation, build your resilience and be able to handle whatever comes your way.



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