7th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos
I swear I spend most of my spare time looking for my Oyster card. It begins on route to the station, then after a few minutes, I have to stop, drop my bag on the floor, look for another five minutes only to eventually find it hidden in my jacket pocket. FFS. It goes without saying, after all this kerfuffle, I usually miss my train. It boils my blood, makes me want to shout and scream. And I am not even a stressful person!
Thank God, I am not the only one. We sweat the small stuff more than ever. According to a recent study, things that send us over the edge include; lack of parking spaces, the printer showing ‘error’ when you are in a rush (office rule number one: never show your printer that you are in a hurry – it can smell fear) and discovering that you are out of the toilet paper whilst… sitting on a loo.
Add on top of all of that, there are real problems to deal with; like work, money, relationship drama … well, life IS pretty stressful, eh?
Ok, breathe in, breathe out. We’ve put together 10 top stress-busting tips:
Brisk walking = more endorphins, which in turn, can reduce stress hormone levels. To de-stress yourself make sure you chose nice, green surroundings. Why? According to scientists, it allows your body to get into a state of meditation, it’s called ‘involuntary attention’ – the surroundings can hold your attention but your mind will start to drift away and calm down.
Green tea is an excellent healthy mood booster. It contains some caffeine that can give you a bit of a ‘kick’, but it also contains the amino acid called theanine. This magic ingredient boosts dopamine concentration in your brain which is responsible for rewards and pleasure.
Top your magnesium levels
Magnesium – often called the original ‘chill pill’ or ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ – regulates your nervous system and can help you to relax. Stressed to the max? Munch on foods loaded with this powerful mineral: almonds, avo, dark chocolate or pumpkin seeds.
Write it down
Do you feel like you are losing control over the situation? Make a list of what is and what is not a priority, then cross things out, one by one. Learn how to say ‘no’ if you feel that you have taken on too much. Your health must be your priority number one!
Although going for a run is probably the last thing you want to do when stressed, your body and mind will thank you for it later. After working up a sweat you will get a sense of euphoria, all down to your endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, that will literally get you ‘high’!
Get a plant
Houseplants are definitely a thing in 2017. But apart from being trendy and beautiful air purifiers, they can also reduce anxiety – particularly chamomile, jasmine and lavender.
Stressed? Three beautiful words always bring a relief: chocolate, coffee and crisps. However, although these foods may give you a temporary lift by raising your blood sugar, in the longer term they will act against you, by putting more strain on the adrenal glands, as they try to keep your blood sugar balanced. Avoid those sugar crashes and stick to snacks that don’t raise your blood sugar too quickly – peanut butter on some oatcakes (or, enjoy it straight out of a jar).
Have more sex
Those who have regular sex as well as plenty of hugs and kisses, tend to be much happier than those who don’t. No brainer. Why? It boosts your oxytocin levels, known as ‘the love hormone’ that induces feelings of optimism and increases self-esteem.
Eat yourself happy
Did you know that almost 60% of our brain is made up of fat?! And Omega-3s are the ones that build cell membranes. Unfortunately, even though they are essential, you don’t produce them in the body, so have to get them from food instead. Try to eat oily fish twice a week or snack on nuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds – fatty acids are great ‘brain’ food and can help fight mood swings.
Chew some gum
Scientists from Australia discovered that chewing gum can reduce the stress hormone cortisol in saliva by 16%. Every little helps!
De-stress starter pack