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For a stress-free life, try exercise


"Stress is caused by experience overload and undue pressure on the nervous system."

STRESS!!! This is probably an issue that nearly everyone suffers with everyday and it can be over absolutely anything that is going on in your life. It could be your financial situation, your job, your family, relationship, the toilet roll never being changed once its finished, not having enough healthy meals in your week effecting your health and fitness goal from being achieved,not finishing your assignment on time...There are so many ways that we can "stress ourselves out".

Too much stress in your life can lead to weight gain, drastic weight loss, little-no sleep, foul moods, fatigue, anxiety, high blood pressure and even hair loss.

I believe that one of the leading causes of stress is YOUR JOB! Did you know that 80% of people who don't like their jobs have an increased risk of heart problems caused by too much stress.

There are a few ways that I believe will help you manage your stress levels:

-Declutter your mind! Easier said than done I know, but there are ways you can do this, try and keep a daily journal to write down all of your thoughts and feelings, instead of bottling it all up in your mind, "spew" it out on paper!

-EXERCISE! Getting out into the fresh air and being active can really help to lift your mood. You can start with something simple like a ten minute walk in the morning before you get ready to go to work.

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins ,which can help to relieve your body of negative energy and stress.

- Participate in Yoga or Pilates classes as they focus on your breathing as well as beneficial strengthening and stretching exercises, you will walk out of a class feeling absolutely amazing trust me!

- Meditation -

Even if its just for 2 minutes everyday to try and clear the mind, sit in silence and take the time to focus on yourself and deep belly breathing. There are so many amazing free meditation apps you can download for your smart phone, to help guide you through mediation if you've never tried it before. (Headspace is a great one that I have used)

Meditation doesn't just have to be sitting in silence and breathing, to meditate can be to get yourself outdoors and surround yourself with some stunning scenery, for example going to the beach and breathing in some fresh salty air can be so refreshing and nourishing for your mind and soul.

Did you know:

Meditation is actually becoming more and more popular within company's all over the world. CEO'S are realising that if they have stress free, happier employee's it is going to benefit their businesses by having less people off sick on a weekly basis, leading to better financial results. Some work places have introduced sleep rooms offering their workers the option to have a power nap to reset and clear the mind, free meditation and yoga workshops and compulsory lunch breaks not at the desk! This must have a great impact on workers stress levels, getting away from that inbox and switching off for half an hour must be the most refreshing feeling!!

- STOP OVERBOOKING YOURSELF!! Make sure you allow time in your week for YOU time this could be a workout, massage, relaxing on the couch, a walk outside in the fresh air, stop trying to over commit you are just leading yourself into "BURN OUT MODE".

- Try a cup of chamomile tea or lemon balm tea to help sooth the soul and relieve the body of stress, anxiety and better sleep.

- Go to bed an hour earlier, stop worrying about what time your favourite TV programme is on (there are apps now to catch up on missed television series etc.) put down that laptop and answer your emails tomorrow, don't take too much work home so you are working extra long hours into the night at home to only see yourself back at the office early again the next morning. An extra hours sleep will give you so much more energy for the next day to come, don't try and be one of those "late legends" who work through to 1am only to wake up at 4am to start all over again...Don't live to work, work to live!

-Surprisingly, one of the biggest causes behind stress is your blood sugar. When it is kept between the glucose levels of 75 to 95, (ng/dl) you function at your best. [1] The more time you spend outside of this range or the more radically your blood sugar shifts within this range, the more your body feels stressed.

How can your blood sugar cause stress? When we experience regular stress, our adrenal glands make more of a stress hormone called cortisol. Along with managing stress, this hormone also manages your blood sugar. Whenever your blood sugar level changes too fast, your adrenal glands release cortisol to pull it back up again. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you would feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated or frightened.

Making healthier and wholesome food choices will help you to manage your blood sugar, eating healthy has also been shown to increase your moods as it makes you feel better. Eat more vegetables (especially your greens), lean meat, raw nuts and seeds, berries, other fruits and drink lots of water...but making those choices, well thats another blog post to come!

- Positive self talk. Stop telling yourself you are not and you can't ,start telling yourself you can and you will.

NOTE TO YOURSELF:

"I don't have to take this day all at once, but rather, one step, one breath, one moment at a time. I am only one person. Things will get done when they get done" -Buddha

References:

[1] Iranmanesh A, Lawson D, Dunn B, Veldhuis JD. Glucose ingestion selectively amplifies ACTH and cortisol secretory-burst mass and enhances their joint synchrony in healthy men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.96:2882-8.

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