We all experience stress differently. We all have our different ways of coping with it too.
There are some evidence-based techniques that are proven to help:
Regular moderate exercise helps to break down stress hormones and reduce tension. If you are suffering from chronic stress then it’s best to avoid high intensity exercise as it could actually increase your stress hormone levels. Members of the fitness team at your local Nuffield Health gym will be able to advise you on activity programmes to suit you at this time.
Maintain a good work life balance
Make time for yourself, your friends and your family. Do things that make you happy. Give yourself a break. Take your lunch break away from your desk, leave the office at an appropriate time each day and don’t take work home with you.
Quality sleep and recovery
Try to get a good night’s sleep every night. Sleep is your body’s chance to recharge. Without it you’ll be less productive, with lower energy and concentration levels.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them. Practising mindfulness is proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain.
A healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients will help your body cope with stress triggers. What’s more, regular healthy meals will balance your blood sugar levels, which in turn will help control your stress hormones.
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants. They increase stress hormones in your body and interfere with the quality of your sleep and your body’s ability to recover. Caffeine can actually stay in the body for hours so it’s best to avoid any caffeinated drinks after lunch.
Alcohol reduces our resilience to stress. So alcohol is definitely not recommended as a method for coping with stress.
Meditation, yoga, Pilates, reading a book, massage therapy, having a hot bath or walking the dog… there are lots of good ways to unwind. They all stimulate your mind in a good way, breaking your negative thought patterns.
Nuffield Health can help to support mental resilience as part of our range of Health Assessments.