Stress and anxiety are a common problem in today’s society. Most of us will experience stress at some point in our lives – it is very difficult to escape in a world where so much is going on around us. It is easy to get caught up in worrying about work, bills, self-image and the state of the world. Having a full time job can be detrimental to your mental health since it takes up so much of of the week, leaving almost no time to take stock of things and relax. If you do not reduce stress in your life it can later manifest itself in anxiety attacks or even conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to combat stress, and by implementing certain minor changes in your life you can majorly improve your sense of calm and personal well-being.
The art of meditation has existed for thousands of years as an integral part of various religions and cultures. It is a useful way to clear one’s mind, and research has shown that meditation can reduce the likelihood of health issues such as high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Meditation exists in different forms but the key is focusing one’s mind. You can experience a simple form of meditation by simply closing your eyes, relaxing your body and focusing on one particular thing, such as your breathing, or you can picture a certain object or landscape using your imagination. If you want to experience a more advanced forms of meditation like Yoga or Tai Chi you can visit a meditation retreat centre like Poulstone Court which is located within the beautiful Herefordshire countryside.
Regular exercise will significantly relax both your body and mind. When your body is in motion it releases endorphins which have been proven to reduce stress hormones. Getting your heart rate up for a few minutes each day can do a world of good in terms of vanquishing stress. The minimum amount you should aim for is around 20-30 minutes a day, at least three times a week. If you can try running or walking in an area of natural beauty since foliage can actually have a calming effect on the mind and encourage reflection.
Always remember to make time for breakfast, as it is the most important meal of the day. Coming into work on a satisfied stomach will help you cope with stressful, difficult situations. Running on empty can lead to anxiety and also keep you feeling excessively hungry throughout the day. Be sure to eat three meals a day, including breakfast, and try to keep the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables. You should allow yourself to eat mood-boosting foods such as biscuits, crisps and ice cream when you’re feeling particularly down. Consuming food rich in carbohydrates is known to boost levels of serotonin – a chemical compound which boosts feelings of happiness and satisfaction. However, be sure to limit your consumption of these foods since in large quantities they can lead to diabetes and heart disease.