Stress is a common side-effect of modern life, often brought about by work, personal or social pressures, which can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing. According to Government Statistics, the average work days lost per person suffering from symptoms of stress, depression or anxiety is 24 days per year*. People exposed to stress at work produce 450% more adrenaline than on days when they are not stressed at work**, and over 40% of adult’s resort to comfort eating when they feel anxious, lonely, sad or stressed***.
To help you remain calm in stressful situations, try these top tops from Dr David Edwards.
Concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply – this helps stop the shallow, rapid over-breathing that can cause pins and needles round your mouth, which may make you feel panicky.
Go for a brisk walk, even if it is only around the room, or up and down stairs a few times; regular brisk, non-competitive exercise helps to neutralise the negative effects of stress hormones.
Close your eyes and image yourself somewhere calm and quiet – beside a lake, on a beach, or in a forest glade.
Choose a personal positive thought (eg I am feeling positive pressure, not negative stress) and repeat this regularly to yourself.
Eat a healthy diet, little and often, and avoid skipping meals. Have healthy snacks to hand such as dried or fresh fruit, wholemeal biscuits to avoid dips in blood sugar levels that can trigger a physical stress response.
Keep your alcohol intake within safe limits, as it’s easy to rely too much on alcohol when feeling stressed. There’s a handy drinks calculator at www.drinkaware.co.uk
Try to work out what people or situations are making you feel stressed – keeping a stress diary can help pinpoint your triggers.
Be more assertive. Saying “No” to unreasonable demands will help reduce the pressure you are under.
Consider enrolling in a Yoga, Qigong or Tai chi class to experience calm, meditative exercise.
Try a natural alternative - If you choose a natural remedy such as Rhodiola rosea, which is traditionally used to temporarily relieve the symptoms of stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, make sure you choose a product that is licensed as a medicine and has an in-pack leaflet containing use and safety information such as Vitano Rhodiola tablets.