Work stress. Relationship stress. Family stress. New parent stress. Money stress. Feeling stressed, much?
Stress is a big problem amongst us all in 2016. Anxiety and depression sufferers have increased dramatically over the past decade, often leading back to the amount of stress in our daily lives. So, what can we do to try and minimise our stress levels, before we reach boiling point?
Importantly, if you feel like you can’t cope with your current levels of stress, you should seek some help from your doctor or a counsellor. But if your stress levels feel manageable most of the time, here are a few tips to help you get your zen back.
1. A good old-fashioned stretch.
If you don’t have the time or patience for a yoga class (and many of us don’t), that’s fine. But you should still take a moment for a good stretch. Reach up to the sky and have a biiiig yawn. Lean over to each side and stretch the sides of your rib cage a few times. Lift your leg up and put it behind your head (just kidding. Unless you can, in which case… wow!). Just spend five minutes like a house cat, stretching your body in which ever direction feels good.
2. Water, water, water.
We know, we know. Everyone is well aware of the 8 glasses a day rule. But did you know that being dehydrated by just two glasses can increase your cortisol (stress hormone) levels? And if you’re stressed a lot, you’re more likely to be dehydrated, because your heart level is up anyway. It’s a vicious circle. Quick. Fill that glass up, pronto.
3. Hug a dog.
This may be a difficult tip to follow if you are in the office, and/or do not have a dog, but go out and find one, STAT. Studies show that playtime with a pet can reduce stress levels dramatically. If you don’t have a dog, take a quick stroll to your local café, find a stranger with a pooch, and give it a ninja-fast hug when the owner isn’t looking. Actually, that sounds kind of stressful…. Just get a pet.
4. Get salty.
Take some time to unwind at a salt therapy centre, which has many benefits for your body and your mind. Basically, you sit in a big, comfy massage chair (yesss), deep-breathing while healthy salt particles are pumped through the air, and watch your stresses get carried away on a cloud of zen. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of the salt helps your airways to open, your breath to deepen, and your cortisone levels to drop. And did we mention the massage chair?
So there you go. If you want to breathe a little more freely, follow our tips to combat stress. And stretch in a salt-cave while drinking water with a stray dog. Now that’s relaxing.