Manage stress

  • Health
  • Saturday, 23 Aug 2008

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Here are some tips to counter and reduce stress for a more well-balanced life.

1. Eat Well

Our bodies use up enormous amounts of vitamins and minerals when we experience stress. This can leave us tired, run down, irritable and less able to deal with our responsibilities. Vitamins C and B complex, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are the hardest hit nutrients. These can be restored through a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, nuts, yeast, brown rice, fish, liver, kelp and eggs. Food to avoid when stressed include tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, chocolate and white bread.

2. Exercise

Physical exercise releases endorphins into your body that will make you feel better about yourself and more in control of your situation.

3. Relax

Relaxation techniques are useful to reduce stress. Make time to relax your muscles each day and you will be amazed at how quickly the physical tension is reduced. Relax by listening to music, meditating, playing with your pet, having a nap or reading a good book.

4. Practise “Realistic thinking”

When we experience extreme feelings of stress, it is often because we are having extreme thoughts. Try to think realistically about what is making you feel this way. How likely is it to happen? Ask what is the worst possible outcome of this situation? Consider how this would affect the scheme of things. Look at the big picture.

5. Organise your time

We can reduce the amount of stress by using our time and energy efficiently. A realistic list of things to do for the day is a good start. Setting priorities and learning to slow down are essential ingredients in reducing your level of stress.

6. Talk to someone

We often cope better by sharing our feelings with other people. This may be as simple as talking to your partner or best friend, or seeking a qualified health professional or organisation to help you manage your stress levels.

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