Stress is a killer – that’s what everyone says and they are absolutely right. Stress is incredibly detrimental to our health and can generally be pretty unpleasant. But it’s not always so easy to just get rid of stress. Rather than trying to avoid situations that cause you to stress it’s a far better idea to learn how to relax and how to combat stress in your daily life. So, if you find it hard to relax, here are some tips to help:
Did you know that what we eat can affect our stress levels? Caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar and sodium can all make us stressed when we have too much of them. So, if you want to learn how to relax then you need to start by eating right. Bananas, for example, are rich in potassium, which helps to regulate our blood pressure; black tea reduces cortisol, which is a hormone linked to stress; and salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve brain function and can lift your mood. So, if you want to relax, drink less coffee and eat your greens.
If you’ve been spending too much time indoors you’re bound to get stressed. Sunlight and darkness trigger hormones that are meant to balance out our sleep cycle. At night, darkness triggers the release of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. When we’re exposed to sunshine (specifically natural light and not just any source of light) our brains release a hormone called serotonin, which is the ‘feel-good hormone’. This hormone boosts your mood and makes you feel more alert. So, if you feel stressed regularly, spend more time outside and take regular breaks from work to get some sunshine. If you can’t spend time outside because it’s raining, you might want to invest in patio awnings. That way you can get your daily dose of sunshine without getting rained on.
Regular exercise has a long list of benefits and helping you destress is one of them. Exercise releases mood boosting chemicals called endorphins – the same chemicals that are released when you eat your favourite chocolate candy or when you laugh. If stress is making you lose sleep, exercise can also help you get back on your sleep cycle and can actually help you sleep better. With regular exercise you’ll be more equipped to manage those early mornings and feel more alert throughout the day, which can make coping with those small daily stresses a bit easier.
Take time to switch off
If you want to learn how to relax then you need to learn how to switch off your brain. This can be done any number of ways. You can take naps, read a book, meditate, perform breathing exercises, or daydream. Studies have shown that we’re far more productive and happy when we take regular breaks away from the thigs that stress us rather than trying to tackle them all at once. If you want to relax more in your daily life then learn how to work in short, high intensity bursts and take little breaks often to recharge and get away from stress.