Top Five Stress Busters

Top Five Stress Busters

1. Smile: Smiling is the first line of defense against stress. It’s quick, easy, and free! When you smile your body releases feel-good hormones, while the stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced. Smiling helps you feel calm and in control. It lowers your blood pressure and makes you feel good about yourself.

2. Exercise: As well as its undoubted benefits for your general health, exercise is highly effective in reducing stress. It improves blood-flow to the brain, helping you think more clearly. Exercise is also another great way to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and feel-good hormones. There is also evidence that fit people are better able to handle the long-term effects of stress.

3. Get enough rest and sleep: Taking a rest isn’t only about not doing anything. A rest from work can mean putting the emphasis on what you do in your leisure time – hobbies, holidays, sport – to counterbalance work or everyday stress. And we all need sleep for energy, good concentration and general health. Chronic sleep-deprivation can affect your performance at work, which can be a key factor in raising stress levels.

4. Positive thinking: Changing your thoughts is not as difficult as you think. Try to adopt an outlook on life that stops you seeing external events as determining your happiness. Instead, see your thoughts as the determiner of your happiness. It takes practice, but if you can do this you’ll reduce the negative tension that leads to much of the stress in your life.

5. Reach out to others: When you need to reduce the pressure in your life, you can’t always do it on your own. Everyone should have a support network of friends, family, co-workers and other people they can call on to help take the strain – whether it’s practical help or a sympathetic ear when you feel down.

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