7 HACKS TO SHAKE OFF STRESS
Do you think stress is optional or inevitable? Would you believe us if we said it’s down to how you react and deal with a situation? We asked sleep and stress expert Rosie Millen to share her insights on avoiding burnout to help you manage stress before it becomes a mess.
In today’s fast-paced and overworked world we are walking time bombs for burnout. However, even though daily stresses and struggles can be expected the mess it makes is optional.
Here’s my expert advice on how to manage stress in order to avoid burning (from someone who overcame it).
First things first – awareness is the first step in breaking the stress response. And I always say that stress is a choice. Meaning – there are two ways to deal with stress. You can either REACT or RESPOND. If we react to every stressful situation – even the small stuff – we are putting ourselves in the sympathetic nervous state (fight or flight). However, if we choose to RESPOND to our stressors by simply being aware of them first then we can make the decision to deal with them in a different way. Perhaps a calmer, more controlled way which puts us into the parasympathetic nervous state (rest and digest).
Managing stress is easier than you think. You just have to put it into perspective. Next time you’re faced with a stressor simply ask yourself this; Is it the end of the world? The answer will be no. Remember there will always be someone who is having a worse day than you.
If that doesn’t work, here are my top 7 ways to reduce stress when it strikes:
- Breathe. Take time out, even for just 5 mins to breathe slow and deep. This alone will automatically reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and will increase the counter hormone DHEA.
- Laugh. Loud and often! Laughing is another great way to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Meet up with that person who makes u crack up or put on your favourite comedy.
- Exercise. Just 20 mins per day or even a quick walk, 10 minutes stretching, or yoga will calm you down and boost your serotonin levels (the happy hormone).
- Nourish. Healthy meals equal a healthy mind! Stress depletes certain nutrients such as magnesium, B Vitamins and Vitamin D. Every meal is an opportunity to feed your body. Increase foods that are calming such as dark green leafy vegetables. Spinach, kale and broccoli contain good amounts of magnesium which helps to relax muscles in the body. Increase foods high in glutamine such as almonds, walnuts, white fish, bananas and brown rice as they are needed to make GABA (Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid). This is a neurotransmitter that helps to calm your central nervous system.For a quick hit of ark leafy greens try Plenish Fuel with 1kg of organic produce packing into one bottle here.
- Avoid stimulants. It’s no wonder you have a sleepless night after a night out drinking a few too many bevvies, or after a day running on caffeine. Both are stimulants that can whip the adrenal glands, affecting your energy patterns and sleep.
- Relax (when you can). Listen to music, go for a walk, sit in the sun or have a massage. Anything that interrupts the stress response. My coach once told me that looking out over the horizon and taking your eyes as far as you can see will automatically put your life into perspective. Perspective is key with learning how to manage stress.
- Try adaptogens. Siberian Ginseng is an excellent adaptogenic herb which acts on your stress levels. Whether you have high or low levels of cortisol this clever herb will bring things back into balance again. So, it’s great to take as a preventative against too much stress.