A Daily Ritual to Help You De-Stress

We all suffer from some form of stress and that is normal - it is part and parcel of our every day lives. Some of us will have more stressors than others and we will manage them all differently (and we do need to manage them even if we think we are Superman/Superwoman).

We all suffer from some form of stress and that is normal - it is part and parcel of our every day lives. Some of us will have more stressors than others and we will manage them all differently (and we do need to manage them even if we think we are Superman/Superwoman). Some of the stress we have might be new and some might be being carried from day to day manifesting and interrupting our thought processes and our overall health and mental wellbeing.

The attached article gives some insight on how we can manage our stress on a daily basis. Even if you can't see yourself to following all of it, maybe take a few ideas and fit them into your daily routine to feel some benefits and relief.

Source: http://nbcnews.com/better/health/daily-ritual-will-help-youo-de-stress-just-5-minutes-nca878391

11 Powerful Habits of Truly Happy People

Generally, when we think of happiness we think of a things like the recent holiday, relaxing with a glass of wine, watching your favourite movie and yes these activities do bring happiness but only temporarily.

In a study by psychologist Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania he categorized people into three groups based on how they pursued happiness:

The Pleasant Life: people seeking happiness by looking for pleasure.

The Engaged Life: people seeking happiness by working hard at their passions.

The Meaningful Life: people using their strengths to work towards something they believe contributes to a greater good.

Seligman found that people who pursued the pleasant life experienced little happiness whilst people who pursued the Engaged Life and the Meaningful Life were very happy.

Happy people are highly intentional and if you want to follow suit you need to learn how to incorporate the following habits into your world:

Create your own happiness and don’t wait for it to find you! Every second you waste waiting for it to find you is a second you could have been using to create it. Make the effort.

Surround yourself with the right people: surrounding yourself with happy people builds confidence and stimulates creativity. Hanging out with negative people has the opposite effect.

Get enough sleep: you need to sleep to allow your body to recharge. Look at one of my previous post on the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Live in the moment: it’s impossible to be happy if you are constantly somewhere else rather than in the moment. You can’t change the past and there is uncertainty in the future so live for now.

Learn to love yourself: learn to accept who you are and appreciate your strengths.

Appreciate what you have: taking time to contemplate what you are grateful for improves your mood because it can reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

Exercise: getting your body moving releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that are produced by the brain and are generally associated with feelings of pleasure, motivation, euphoria, social connection and pain relief.

Forgive but don’t forget: happy people live by the motto ”fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Forgive in order to prevent a grudge. Negative emotions that come with holding a grudge are actually a stress response.

Get in touch with your feelings: don’t repress your emotions; learning to be open about your feelings decreases stress levels and improves your mood.

Concentrate on what you can control: rather than dwelling on things you can’t control, trying putting effort into things that you can.

Have a growth mindset: people with a fixed mindset tend to believe you are who you are and cannot change. People with a growth mindset believe they can improve with effort.

Now, bring it all together!

Does Stress Impact on Your Skin?

Have you always suspected that stress has the power to make your skin act up? Maybe you’ve noticed that your eczema flares when you are under pressure? Perhaps it feels like a new pimple pops up every day when your personal life is in shambles?

It’s true; feeling stressed can affect your skin and vice versa.

So many skin conditions are related to an inappropriate release of inflammatory chemicals and inflammation is your body’s response to a perceived threat to your health (the stress response). Inflammation plays a crucial role in keeping you healthy, because your body needs to defend itself from true dangers, like flu viruses. Your immune system gets ready to do battle. It does this by releasing chemicals like interleukins, which, in order to help protect your health, can cause inflammation.

If your genetics, environment, or both make you susceptible to certain skin-related ailments, this inflammation can also make them flare up. Stress is a general trigger that can make the skin misbehave in whatever way it’s prone to misbehaving (such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne). This doesn’t mean stress will cause these conditions if you don’t have them, just that it might make them harder to manage if you do.

Even if you don’t have an actual skin condition, dealing with way more stress than usual for a significant amount of time might make your immune system hyperirritable, so something that doesn’t normally bother your skin can make it freak out.  If touching your face is your go-to nervous habit and you always break out when you’re stressed, that may be less a function of your immune system, and more a result of you introducing whatever’s on your hands to your face.

Stress can also make you more likely to skimp on your usual healthy habits, which can come with side effects. If you’re not sleeping well, if you’re not taking the time to wash your face, if you’re not eating well or drinking enough water, that can impact your skin negatively.

If your stress is irritating your skin or your skin is stressing you out, check in with a medical professional for help such as a dermatologist, explaining your problem (whether that’s acne, eczema, or something else), and seeing if they can make any recommendations for how to fix it or how to find someone who can.

As to the stress component: While stress may have a starring role here, it probably isn’t acting alone. Approaching the issue from all angles could get you that much closer to no longer wearing your stress on your skin. Contact a Stress Management Consultant to further discuss.

Tips For Dealing With Stress at Work

When we have situations that cause our stress levels to rise, there are 3 basic stress management strategies which I always find very useful known as the Triple A’s – AAA:               

Alter

Avoid

Accept

Alter: We can always alter or change a situation and this can sometimes be the most promising strategy. We are all guilty I am sure, at making excuses for different things but we do have the ability and there is always a way to alter a situation if you really want to. Driving to work in the morning takes an hour and is stressful. Maybe find another mode of transport; ask a colleague to join you in the commute; play some great music or listen to a book whilst you are travelling.

Avoid: Some things are just best avoided where possible rather than stressing. An example might be that you constantly get stressed as you are always late for appointments – write the appointment in the diary for 15 minutes earlier and stick to it. Better to be slightly early and less stressed!

Accept: Some times you just have to realise that some things in life are just unavoidable and accept the situation with good grace. An example might be paying taxes! Another might be going to the dentist. Give yourself some positive self-talk like “I won’t have to go again for 6 months” or “it will be all over within the hour”. Play some relaxing music.

For more reading and information read the following article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2018/05/05/5-tips-for-dealing-with-stress-at-work/#64b843771a8a

Stress Can Affect Your Body In Some Unexpected Ways

Stress is part and parcel of every day life and it can be caused by a million things from arguments with loved ones or the car won’t start to work overload and the list goes on and on. You can’t actually avoid stress and neither should you want to completely; a little stress has some benefits too. It is more about being able to manage your stress levels and finding healthy ways to navigate and cope with them.

Most of us are probably aware and will recognise the most common signs of stress including a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, anxiety, feeling moody or tearful to name a few. But did you know just how much stress can affect our insides?

  •  Bad Breath

Bad breath might be a sign that you are a little too stressed in your daily life. Stress reduces saliva and bad breath and a dry mouth are sometimes thought to be in common depending on your current state of health.

  • Sore or Bleeding Gums

Stress, especially longer-term or chronic, releases cortisol into your body and weakens your immune system. The bleeding gums could be a sign of more bacteria entering the body and your immune system being weakened.

  • Sore and Tense Muscles

Ever felt like you have done a ten hour work out in the gym when in actual fact you have been on the sofa all weekend? It could be stress causing your muscles to tense. Muscles tension is the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain. Chronic muscle tension in the neck, shoulder and head area could lead to migraines or head pain in left unchecked.

  • Heavy Breathing

Breathing is the body’s way of getting oxygen so essential to life. If you find yourself breathing heavily through your mouth even though your nasal passages are clear it could be that your body is seeking more oxygen.

  • Always Hungry or Never Hungry

Severe stress can lead you to eat more or eat less than you actually should. By eating too much or too little it can throw your stomach off and potentially cause things like diarrhea, constipation or even ulcers or stomach pain.

Always learn to recognise your stress levels and manage them accordingly. Everyone is different so what might work for one but not work for another so try different ways that work for you such as yoga, meditation, long walks, going for a cycle ride, spending time with friends, reading, etc. If you feel any symptoms of stress on a constant basis you should seek advice from a health care professional.

Want to know more on how to manage stress? Contact Tania on 0431 787 377 for more information.