Top Tips to Combat Stress

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

No one is immune to stress, I myself have been dealing with a lot of it in my personal life lately, stress along with many other factors took me to a very dark place emotionally. I was becoming a very negative person, loosing my temper, snapping at people I know. At one point I got so overwhelmed I broke down in tears. 
 That was the turning point for me, I knew I had to take real action to deal with my stress and manage it effectively.
After a lot of trial and error, I've discovered a few techniques (if you can call them that) that have minimised my stress significantly. I'll never be able to eliminate stress completely from my life. I think stress can be beneficial in small doses but these techniques have definately helped to minimise the stress in my life.

(Image credit goes to )

Before I share these tips with you I just want to remind everyone that I'm not a counsellor or a psychologist ( I did study psychology as an A level ), so just take everything I say with a grain of salt.
 If the tips I share below don't help you and stress is hindering your life significantly I strongly advise you to seek professional help, there is no shame in asking for help with any mental condition and chronic stress should be treated with the same care and attention. 

Now that's cleared up, lets move on to the real reason you're here. You might want to grab a drink before you start because it's going to be a whopper!

Remove yourself from the situation

Whatever is the source of your stress get away from it as soon as possible or remove it from your life. Of course this has to be done with reason, if your sibling is stressing you out because they're being annoying then removing them from your life would be ridiculous. Evaluate your situation and if it is perfectly reasonable and justifiable for you to get away from the situation then do so. This leads me on to my next tip.


I know what you're thinking not this new age, spiritual enlightenment stuff again (I'm a spiritual person and I was sceptical at first). Don't worry meditation isn't used like that for dealing with stress (it's also useful when you have anxiety as well). It's used as a tool to bring you back to the present moment and ground your thoughts. 
I know when I'm stressed I have a million thoughts racing through my head, it strips me of any focus or clarity. Meditation will restore your focus.
I use meditation apps because you can use them anywhere, at any time. I highly recommend Headspace (it's free to download on Android and IOS). It's easy to use and has cute little animations that explain the technique and how it will affect your mindset. You get a one week free trial to test out, after that you can choose to subscribe to their website for ongoing sessions (it will cost you £4.99 per month for a 1 year subscription). 
If you don't want to fork out any extra cash and want a quick fix the Take a Break app is also a good option. It comes with two meditation exercises and a variety of relaxing background sounds such as the forest, the ocean or rain. 
Both apps use the breathing meditation technique. If you are unsure of how to do this check out the video below for more help. 


It probably seems counter-intuitive because it doesn't deal with the problem outright. You do want to deal with the root cause of your stress but taking up a new hobby or carrying out a very minor task will help keep you calm.
I've recently started an adult's colouring book ( don't laugh, it's actually really relaxing ). 

The one pictured is from Amazon
Research has found that focusing on small tasks helps to reduce stress by your focus is solely on that task and you are not letting your mind wonder towards restless thoughts. So pick up a new hobby, let your imagination flow. Even if it's as simple as reading a book.

Keeping Fit

Exercise seems to be the ultimate cure for all of life's problems lately. It's not only a good distraction but exercising also causes your body to release endorphins (those little feel good hormones) which are a natural painkiller. So get your butt down to the gym!
If you don't want to join the gym and want something less intense I love Blogilates and Yoga With Adriene
I find exercise helps to remove any tension that I carry when feeling stressed and flushes out any toxins in my body.
Not only will you be relieving stress, you'll be getting a smoking hot bod in the process!

Nourish Your Body With Good Things

Along with exercising, eating healthy also minimises the effects stress has on the body. Eating foods high in carbohydrates (the healthy, wholegrain kind) helps the brain to produce more serotonin; a hormone that helps us relax. High fibre foods also help with constipation (gross, i know) which is a common side effect of stress. Try incorporating foods such as whole grain rice and pasta, sweet potato, and quinoa into your diet.
Stress has a major impact on the immune system (that's why you feel so run down during stressful times) so you want to up your intake of fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain vitamin C.
Also stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and try to avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine, if you are prone to stress you may want to start cutting back on the tea and coffee.

We've made it to the end of this post! If you got this far give yourself a pat on the back,I know it was a long one.
I hope these tips will help you out and if you have any other tips for dealing with stress please leave them in the comments below. 

See you back soon for the next post.

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