5 Tips to Tackle Stress
Guest post by Lucy, Health Coach and Owner of Plant Activation.
We have all been stressed at one time or another. In a 2018 Study by the Mental Health Foundation they discovered 74% of UK adults were so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. So many of us face stress regularly and accept it as part of our daily lives when we shouldn’t need to. It is important to establish a healthy relationship with stress so you can tackle it when it comes your way. By making small sustainable changes to your daily routine you can make a big difference to your experience of stress. Try these 5 tips to take you from being stressful to full of energy and vitality:
1. Switch up the snacks to beat the 3pm slump:
We all have ridden the sugar rollercoaster before. but somehow a lot of us still reach for a sugar snack to get us through that 3pm slump; especially if we are under pressure or feeling stressed. Excess sugar can add more stress to your system due to the high it creates which fills you up with a burst of energy, resulting in a subsequent crash, draining your overall energy, productivity and focus. When you maintain your energy levels consistently you give your body and mind the best chance to manage stress in a positive way.
Have a think about what you currently have as snacks and look to improve them by planning and purchasing in advance. By taking a proactive approach it will avoid purchasing those grab’n’go items such as sweets, chocolate or biscuits. Look out for alternatives such as organic blueberries, strawberries and cherries or even above 70% Dark Chocolate to satisfy that sweet fix. With a consistent supply of energy, you will feel more balanced in your approach to tackling the days challenges, while supporting your brains function.
2. Reduce coffee to increase energy and improve sleep quality:
Coffee is the drink that wakes up the world; I’m sure some of you find it hard to start your day without a cup! While drinking it in smaller amounts will benefit the body providing antioxidants as well as a boost of energy but can too much coffee start causing you trouble? For some people it can!
Too many cups of coffee can cause dehydration, headaches and an increase in anxiety, with everyone being able to tolerate it differently. If you work out how much coffee is right for you and at what time you need to stop drinking it during the day, it will improve your relationship with coffee.
So what could you do to switch it up? There are a wide range of beverages ready to discover and it’s all about finding what works for you through experimenting and being open to new flavours, combinations and ingredients. A great option could be to try a turmeric latte. Turmeric contains curcumin an antioxidant which helps to fight the inflammation caused by stress. You can find this in a pre mix, paste, or could make it yourself at home. Have a think about what you are needing from your afternoon coffee fix – is it more energy, a feeling of comfort or to just looking to unwind? Look out for alternative options that are available to you and experiment to find something that works.
3. Reframe your thoughts to gain a new perspective:
The daily triggers we have for stress can start to pile up and become overwhelming. With each of these triggers compounding, leading you to feel generally stressed, reframing becomes an important tool to prevent overwhelm and remain positive. When a stressful event occurs on a traffic laden drive to work or a disagreement happens with a work colleague, try to reframe it to see the overall bigger picture of the situation -taking you past the feeling of frustration, judgement or feeling attacked to understand the situation from the other person’s perspective. Think about the situation as if you were an observer and ask yourself, what could I have done differently? What could be happening in that other person’s life or business to make them react like this? Is how I am reacting having a positive impact on those around me?
2When we see situations for what they are, we can discover a different perspective which can lead to a happier mindset. The more we use this technique and put it into practise the more we can become emotionally stronger. Have you tried reframing thoughts before? If not have a think about how you can make this work for you whether you use a journal to write it in, talk it out in your mind or even discuss this with a friend.
4. Journal to increase your clarity and gratitude:
Using a journal can be an excellent tool to keep a level head when facing stress or pressure. When we write our thoughts and dilemmas down, it can take some of the emotion away from the noise in your mind setting your day up for success. It will empower you to see information in a clearer way, which makes it easier to make decisions that are beneficial for your health. You can write down as much or as little as you like.
Writing lists of gratitude is one of the best ways you can flip your perception switch, to focus on what you love, what you have, and what you appreciate. It takes the stress away from the wants and needs to what you already have that has been supporting you, nourishing you and inspiring you. If you want to get out of a negative mindset write down ten things you are grateful for, and really think about them and how they make you feel. Establishing a positive habit with journaling your gratitudes will support you to keep a clearer mindset with under stress.
5. Ground yourself in the office at your desk (without anyone even noticing):
If you are sitting at your desk feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your to do list, here is a great way to reset, refocus and feel centred again, so you can tackle the rest of your day. Start by placing your feet flat on the ground, square off your shoulders, and place your palms on your thighs. You can close your eyes or leave them open, relaxed but not focusing on anything in front of you (especially not your work!)
Take a deep breath from your belly for the count of 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and release the breath with one single exhale lasting 8 seconds. Repeat this breath approximately 5 times and continue until you feel more relaxed and grounded. Once you complete this breath slowly settle back into your office surroundings and settle back into your day. Use this technique when working to deadlines or under pressure to prevent stress from increasing and give yourself the opportunity to break from your screen and to do list.
Written by Lucy
Lucy is the Health Coach and Owner of Plant Activation where she is helping women globally break free from stress and elevate their health without comparison. If you want to feel more vibrant and energised Plant Activation will support you to take inspired action.
So if you are feeling drained, burnt out and ready to down a glass of wine the minute the clock turns 5, She’s your girl. You can connect with Lucy on Instagram and Facebook @plantactivation and online at https://www.plantactivation.