5 Ways to Reduce Stress

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Life is stressful. Often we are too accepting of stress as a ‘normal’ part of life but too much stress can have serious implications on our physical and mental health. Summer is supposed to be a time to relax but I know from working in an office that with more people taking holiday, more pressure is added on to the people left at work. Likewise at this time, parents are under pressure to take time off work to take care of their kids during the holidays and as for teenagers, they are currently sitting exams. Doesn’t sound stress-free to me! Take note of my top 5 ways to reduce stress and unwind. Click on the images to watch the gif’s!

1. Breathe

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So simple. We don’t pay much attention to our breath as it is a natural reflex. When you’re feeling worked up try and concentrate on your breathing. My personal favourite is the 7-11 technique. Breathe in for 7 counts and out for 11 and repeat until your mind is feeling calm and your body relaxed.

2. Dance it Off

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You don’t necessarily need to dance. Walk, jog, climb, swim, run, cycle, skip, hop or jump! Aim for 20 minutes of exercise (of your choice!) three times a week to help relieve stress.

3. Favourite Things

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Do you have a little list of the things that make you happy? Things which you can do instantly if you’re under stress? If they’re in your head, best write them down! This is a positive affirmation of something you already know about yourself. Favourites might include a cup of tea/coffee, listening to your favourite song, practising meditation of some form, taking a nap, reading a book/magazine, texting e.t.c. Whatever it may be it’s best to have some tips on hand in case of a stress emergency!

4. Friends and Family

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Reaching out to friends and family in times of stress can be an incredible way to offload the pressure. Whether it’s picking up the phone to call them or taking some time out to meet up, it can be a sure fine way to increase happiness levels and gain much needed support. Who’s the person you go to for a lift? Best find out!

5. Peace and Quiet

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Finding a quiet and private space that you like and actively naming it your ‘stress-free zone’ can be a powerful tool for stress-relief. The rules are; when you’re in this space nothing can cause you any kind of upset. When the pressures on you need only go to your quiet space for some time out, to calm down. This might be easier said than done if you live and work in busy spaces, but you need only catch 2-5 minutes of down-time in your zone!

I hope everyone finds their own ways of reducing stress and manages to unwind during this summer. It should be a time when we can take some much needed time off and catch up with those who matter most to us. Now we just need to conquer the weather. Come on sunshine, Britain is counting on you!

Leyla