How to deal with stress

Feeling irritable, tense, and anxious?

Tired all the time, but no time to stop? Being plagued by headaches and backache? You could be suffering from stress. If you are, don’t worry. It’s not something to be ashamed or embarrassed by, as many people become stressed at some point during their lives.

Many factors can cause stress. Common reasons tend to be worries or problems at work, at home, with relationships or money. Once stress occurs, it’s sadly not always easy to get rid of it. The more stressed you become, the worse life seems to be.

However, beating stress is crucial, as the longer, it’s left, the more likely it is that other health problems, such as depression or a lowered immune system, could develop. If you’re feeling stressed, don’t despair — use the following practical tips to help you handle it!

RELAX

An important step in your journey to handling stress is to stop and relax. Despite the fact that it may sound easy, for sufferers of stress, it can be very difficult. You’re likely to experience constant thoughts and worries and feel that there there’s so much to do and absolutely no time to spare to sit down and do nothing! This is, however, precisely what you should do. Take some time away from the cause of your stress, even if it’s only 15 – 20 minutes at first.

Sit quietly and comfortably and spend some time allowing your muscles to relax and release all the tension. If it helps, put some calming music on in the background and make sure there are no distractions around. It’s also important to make sure you breathe properly as when you’re stressed breathing tends to become very shallow. Take a few deep breaths, breathing from the stomach and chest, and gradually feel yourself becoming more relaxed.

GET SOME EXERCISE

Another good way of handling stress is to go and do some exercise. Physical exercise will help release tension, increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, and generally help you feel better. It also offers a good chance of scenery and an opportunity to do something totally different. There are lots of different sports to choose from so you’re bound to be able to find something that you like the sound of.

Aerobic activities such as walking or cycling will help work your heart and lungs, vigorous exercises such as kickboxing could really help you release anger or holistic practices such as yoga and tai chi can help calm both the body and mind. Whatever you choose to do, try and work it into your regular routine and get some exercise each day.

TAKE VITAMIN C

Suffering from stress has been shown to increase the need for vitamin C, which helps keep the immune system in good working order. In your bid to handle stress, it would be beneficial to take vitamin C tablets or at least ensure you regularly eat foods rich in the vitamin.

Citrus fruits such as oranges are a good source, so try and eat an orange a day or drink freshly squeezed orange juice. Other good foods to eat are kiwis, blackcurrants, peppers, and strawberries.

USE AROMATHERAPY

There are many essential oils that are perfect for helping you handle stress, so embarking on the use of aromatherapy is something that shouldn’t be ignored. If you can afford to go to a specialist practitioner, having a relaxing aromatherapy massage would be great. However, if your bank balance isn’t quite up to that, you can still benefit from the comfort of your own home.

Aromatherapy oils can be used in the bath, and offer an excellent way of allowing you to relax and relieve stress. Just add two to three drops of pure oil into the bath, once the water is in. Oils such as camomile, jasmine, and lavender create a calming atmosphere, bergamot can help you feel uplifted and rosemary and peppermint can together help your head feel clearer and more focused.

Alternatively, you can put a few drops of your chosen oil into an oil burner and let the scent spread through your home or office.

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