4 simple ways to relieve stress

Heightened feelings of anxiety and tension are common during isolation. But while you can run (seriously, it helps!), it’s nearly impossible to hide from stress. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help manage and reduce your stress levels.

While a little bit of stress can actually make you more productive and motivated, activating the stress-response system repeatedly and staying in a fight flight response for too long can disrupt your body’s basic processes. One of the most alarming symptoms of being too stressed for too long? Impeded digestion, inhibiting the absorption of vitamins that are essential for healthy teeth, skin and hair. 

‘Stressful events cause hormonal changes in the body and the adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol,’ explains Wellbeing Expert and Meditation Teacher, Samantha  Taylor.

Along with internal inflammation, poor digestion and a sluggish lymphatic system, Holistic Skin Therapist, Lindy Bekerman warns that stress and anxiety can also trigger rashes, hives, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and hypersensitivity.

While you can’t run from impending deadlines, bills, and other life challenges, the best thing to do is learn to manage the stress and reap the glowy benefits. 

How do we do this? Two words: self-care.

Here are four simple stress busters that will equip you with a more relaxed mindset and bring you back to centre:

1. Meditate
Meditation can be extremely effective for stress reduction. ‘It changes the physical structure of the brain, causing the amygdala (part of the limbic system and responsible for the fight or flight response) to get smaller,’ says Taylor.

What this means is that you are less capable of experiencing stress and fear, and more capable of experiencing compassion and empathy and gaining greater perspective over your life.

2. Get enough sleep 
Studies show that 35 per cent of adults get fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, with experts recommending closer to 7.5 to eight hours for most people. A sleep deficit can develop, taking its toll on our health over time. Create healthy sleep habits by establishing a bedtime routine, and avoiding screen time late at night and caffeine after 10am.

3. Exercise regularly
Making exercise a priority can help decrease stress, so do something that you enjoy. Yoga is particularly helpful in managing stress as it allows you to stay calm and in the present moment, while working on strength, flexibility and the breath. 

4. Get a massage or facial (after social distancing has finished, of course)
‘Look to incorporate any form of treatment into your self-care routine that uses the healing power of touch, whether it be a skin treatment or body massage,’ recommends Bekerman.

‘Being touched has a profound effect on the skin and body as it strengthens connections and heals and soothes our minds.’

To read the full article on how to take better care of yourself and your stress levels, check out our latest digital edition of STRONG Fitness Magazine Australia. Plus, in this extra special edition, only pay what you can afford!

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