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6 strategies to combat stress

CAPTION: March 2021

Hard to relax after a hectic day, unable to switch off your busy mind? Feeling tense, worried or anxious, or simply less present with your loved ones?

Stress hits us all at some stage. It activates your body’s stress response system, releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged periods of stress can change your physiology, leading to a myriad of symptoms including muscular tension, headaches, and fatigue. It pays to recognise these stress signals and do something about them.

Try these 6 strategies to combat stress:

1. Breathe – Taking slow deep breaths that fill your lungs can profoundly alter your response to stress. Set your alarm and breathe deeply for just 1 minute per hour to find a calmer you.

2. Move – Both vigorous exercise and gentle stretching help release stress held in your physical body. Endorphins during exercise help you feel good too.

3. Unplug – If feeling overloaded, give yourself a break from technology. You mind needs time to unwind.

4. Be mindful – Use your 5 senses to really notice what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste in the moment. Mindfulness can be a powerful tool to slow a busy mind.

5. Enjoy nature – Whether beach, bush or countryside, bathing in nature’s beauty nourishes the mind, body and soul to restore your natural rhythms.

6. Do what you love – When busy and stressed, it’s easy to forget this simple truth. Tap into activities that bring you joy or make you laugh, and do them often!