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(Via Work To Live)

With ever increasing hectic lifestyles today, people of all ages and backgrounds are feeling the strain. Whether it be final exams in school or a large project at work, stress is a big factor that can affect all aspects of life. According to Women’s Health, a recent survey found that women are more likely to experience physical symptoms of stress. The most important factor is recognising stress and learning how to deal with it.

Stress can come in all shapes and sizes, from headaches, short temper and forgetfulness to lack of sleeping, upset stomach and lack of eating. Stress affects everyone and anyone, so if you haven’t been stressed at least once in your life – then we want to know your secret! Here’s some useful tips on how to deal with stress:

1. Exercise

This is the best way to work off some of that pent up anger. A few laps in the pool or a session in the gym is a great way to de-stress. This should be kept up on a regular basis, otherwise you won’t reap the benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, which is a chemical that passes along signals in the body. They play a key role in the function of your central nervous system, which controls the receptors to pain and emotion.

2. Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is vital in controlling your mood – hangry has officially been proven by science! Some foods are natural anti-depressants, such as asparagus, leafy greens, walnuts, whole wheat and dark chocolate (rejoice!). Other foods, such as cheese can help boost serotonin, a chemical in your brain that controls your moods. Ensure you get all your vitamins, so arrange a sushi date with a friend to get your omega 3 and eat plenty of fruit to hit your daily vitamin intake.

3. Relaxation

It’s time to pamper yourself! (One of TMB’s faves). Draw yourself a bath and turn on that hippy whale music. In all seriousness, a hot bath can help to ease tense muscles and essential oils can promote relaxation. That, or make a DIY face mask from banana’s or take some time out to learn some nail art. If you’re really pushing the boat out, then pay the professionals to do it and visit a proper spa.

4. Get emotional

Stress can wreak havoc on emotions, but this can be a good thing. Crying is one way of letting go of stress. Turn on Marley and Me or Schindler’s List (whichever gets those tear ducts going) and release! Bonus tip: If you’re alone at Christmas, then watch Love Actually.

5. Laughter

You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine. Check out comedy night in your area or watch a hilarious film with some friends. While Bridesmaids may not promote independent strong women, we can guarantee it will cheer you up.

6. Yoga or Meditation

For the serious and focused types, yoga is a great stress-reliever as positions and breathing can help let go of built up tension. Meditation is all about peace, so this one is highly recommended! Find meditation tips and guides online to help achieve that much needed peace or drop by your local Buddhist centre.

7. Hang with friends

Stop being anti-social and don’t try to deal with stress on your own. Make some phone calls and arrange a dinner date or a pamper session with friends. Even a cup of tea (lay off the coffee) in a nearby cafe helps. A problem shared is a problem halved. Talk about how you’re feeling and it will make you feel a whole lot better.

8. Switch off your mind

Stress links to anxiety and if you get to that point, then you need to learn to take a step back. Detach yourself from the stress by simply switching off and choosing to not let it affect you anymore. This one is easier said than done and takes practice, but analysing the causes and switching off can make your mind a calmer one.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with stress? Let us know in the comments below!

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