10 tips to de-stress

Today's blog piece is from a guest writer, David Price of Health Assured offering his top tips to de-stress.

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Stress is a common occurrence in our everyday life and in most cases it is manageable without the need for any drastic actions. However, if left unaddressed, stress leads to other underlying mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

In today’s fast-paced working environment, it’s important for employees to be able to take some time out to de-stress. By incorporating a variety of stress-reduction techniques into your working day you’re able to manage stress and reduce the risk of burning out.

This article explores 10 popular strategies to get you on your way to de-stressing whether it is at work, school or home.

1. Mental health
The first and most important tip is to put your mental health first. Your body has a way of telling you what it needs and by paying attention to these needs you’ll be able to identify what de-stressing strategies work for you.

2. Move around
Stepping away from your desk (and screen) gives your brain a break and gives your body to use different sets of muscles. Which in turn interrupts the build-up of tension from sitting for extended periods. Walking around will also help your brain to release endorphins that increase energy levels and reduces anxiety. Get some coffee, walk around the office, talk to colleagues.

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3. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises help your body relax by making it feel like it does when you are relaxed. Anyone familiar with the science behind yoga, pilates or stretching knows it plays an important role in nourishing the body.

Taking in deep breaths gives the body an extra boost of oxygen which helps to reduce tension and relieve stress. According to experts, performing breathing exercises drastically reduces anxiety and depression and is even being applied in clinical treatments for mental conditions.

4. To-do/checklist
Keeping a list keeps you organised and allows you to prioritise what needs to get done. By crossing tasks off your list, you get the feeling of accomplishment and that feeling induces motivation.

5. Music
Music plays an important role in our lives and in engrained into every aspect of. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t integrate it into our work life as well. Experts believe listening to music reduces the hormones that prompt stress, it’s also said to improve productivity and creativity at work.

6. Physical exercise
While breathing does have its benefits, its best combined with other physical exercises. Remaining stagnant for the most part of the day accumulates tension in the muscles. Stretching and other forms of physical exercise loosen up the body and increase blood flow.

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7. Talking
Engaging in conversation with a colleague, friend or family helps reduce stress by offering a different point of view. Research shows that these sort of interactions also release oxytocin hormones that decrease stress. Touching base with your personal life plays a part in putting problems you might be having at work into perspective.

8. Lighting
This plays an important role in dictating that atmosphere of the work environment. The right lighting reduces eyestrain and the problems associated with it. It also makes for a more pleasant working which increases the feeling of comradery which does its bit for stress management.

9. Workspace makeover
Your workspace can have massive effects on your attitude and stress levels. Take some time to de-clutter, clean and decorate your workspace. While you should obviously avoid distractions, you can add photos, stickers or even a plant. Research shows that apart for air purification, they also help people calm down by inducing a ‘relaxation response’.

10. Snacks
Eating healthy snacks can rev up your mood and energy. There’re certain foods and fruits proven to improve your mood and boost energy. There’s a massive connection between our brain and gut, scientists call this the ‘gut-brain axis’. It is a term for the communication network that connects your gut and your brain. It’s what you feel when you get a gut feeling or butterflies in your stomach. These feelings prove that there’s a direct connection between your gut and your brain and you’d do well to keep it happy.

What tips would you add to this list? Why not let us know via Twitter.