Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month has been held every April to raise awareness and help support those suffering with stress. It has been reported (mentalhealth.org.uk) that stress effects as many as 74% of the population in the UK, which is unsurprising given the fast-paced world we all live in.
However, there are a number of things we can do to prevent and combat stress when it creeps up unsuspectedly. Here are our five top tips to take control and stamp out stress…
1) Manage your time
It’s all about balance. Make time to do the important things in life, but at the same time, give yourself the flexibility to see friends and family, or doing the things that make you happy, for example, going to the gym or having a meal out. It you manage your time effectively, you will be able to do all the things you have to do, as well as all of the activities you want to do making no room for stress.
2) Make sleep a priority
We all know how much more alert we feel after a good night’s sleep, but when we feel stressed, we often find it hard to get to and stay in a deep sleep. Create a night time routine which allows you to switch off and focus on relaxation techniques to help promote a better night’s sleep. Taking a warm bath is one way to unwind and de-stress after a long, hard day.
3) Eat healthy foods
This doesn’t mean depriving yourself of your favourite chocolate or packet of sweets, it simply means find a balance. Switch up your snacks and fill up on super foods like berries, cranberries or nuts and mix in the odd piece of chocolate or sweets once a week. Stress-busting foods like nuts will help to improve your state of mind and boot out stress.
4) Have a good laugh
We all love a good old laugh, but did you know that laughing is scientifically proven to make you feel happier? When we laugh, we enhance the intake of oxygen, which increases the endorphins released by the brain. These clever chemicals also trigger a positive feeling in the body.
5) Chew some gum
In addition to fresh, minty breath, chewing gum has also been associated with reduced stress levels. Research has shown that chewing gum lowers the stress hormone, cortisol making you feel less stressed and more alert.