Navigating through life with less stress is never an easy task, but it’s an important one.
Reducing levels of stress can significantly improve your overall health and wellbeing, leaving you happier, more energised and able to enjoy all aspects of life.
When you start to experience feelings of stress or anxiety, caused by a physical or emotional change, it’s important to know how to manage these.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift shares five ways to get started.
1. Get active
Fitness is one of the most well-known coping techniques for stress, and is recommended by health professionals. Studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function. When your body feels better, so will your mind.
2. Switch off early
Getting sufficient sleep allows your brain to recharge and your body to rest. Many studies show that sleep is so crucial that even slight deprivation can contribute to poor health and affect memory, judgement and mood. Set yourself a bed-time each night and stick to it – you’ll wake up feeling fresh and ready for the day ahead.
3. Call a friend
Spending quality time with friends and family can make a big difference to your mindset. Meaningful interaction can improve wellbeing by generating positive thoughts and helping you gain a fresh perspective on stressful situations. Whether you meet a friend for coffee, curl up on the couch with a family member, or simply chat on the phone, share your load with someone who cares.
Practicing mindfulness techniques or meditating can clear your mind and help ease psychological stresses such as anxiety, depression, and pain. Meditation gives you tools to focus your mind and attention on the present moment and become aware of different sensations, like breathing. Pick a quiet spot at home or in a nearby park and take some time each day to meditate quietly.
5. Eat healthy food
If you’re experiencing stress or irritability, it’s tempting to gravitate toward unhealthy foods for an energy boost. But be warned, this usually does more harm than good.
The right nutrition contributes to maintaining a healthy weight, better quality of life, good physical and mental health throughout life, resistance to infection, and protection against chronic disease and premature death. One of the best ways to find inner harmony is to get your daily dose of two serves of fruit and five serves of fresh veggies.
Finally, when you’re facing stressful situations and feelings of anxiety, remember to keep things in perspective.
Try not to sweat the small stuff and don’t let small setbacks get you down!
For more information about Cancer Council Queensland, visit cancerqld.org.au or phone 13 11 20.