Many of us see stress as a part of everyday life, but it doesn’t have to be. Stress can affect our lives in many ways and if left unmanaged, can also lead to health problems. Stress can affect everyone differently, and how we manage it can be stressful. With the busy lives we all lead in modern times, taking time for yourself to heal and relax can be tough, so here are a few tips to help reduce your stress levels.

Massage:

If you’ve ever been to a massage therapist, you’ll be familiar with the pleasant sensations and relaxing sounds of a soothing soundtrack, relaxing smells and a general feeling of wellbeing. Massage can have wonderful effects on your body and mind.

Exercise:

Going for a brisk walk can metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state. Try to include some exercise into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work, or at lunchtime, this will also improve the quality of your sleep.

Take time out:

If you’re ill, you need to rest and recuperate, a short spell of recovery will help you deal with life better than carrying on and possibly make yourself worse.

Try meditation:

There are many apps these days that can help with this if you’re new to relaxation techniques such as meditation. Just 5 mins in a quiet space to relax and reflect might be all you need to recharge and calm yourself.

Smoking:

Many smokers tend to light up to help with a stressful situation, but in fact, nicotine is a stimulant, just like alcohol, so can increase your stress levels rather than reduce them

Take control:

How you react to a situation can be stressful, if you are faced with a problem that seems overwhelming, try writing it down, make a list of solutions and the good and bad points they have, then then make a plan with smaller tasks to help the problem become more manageable.

Talk to someone:

Sometimes, all we need is a good rant to a close friend and their reassurance that everything is going to be ok.

Accept the things you can’t change:

Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.

If you would like to talk to someone about anxiety or mental health, visit Mind, the mental health charity, where you will find advice online, a telephone number to call and information and stories on coping.