Three simple ways to reduce stress

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person relaxing to ease stressAccording to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of people have felt so stressed in the past year they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Stress is such a massive issue that there is an entire week dedicated to raising awareness of this condition.

Small amounts of stress are good – they keep you focused and motivated. It’s long term stress that can cause a wide variety of symptoms from headaches and digestive problems to irritability, anxiety or depression.

Causes of stress:

Virtually anything can cause stress, even the fun things such as getting married or organising a holiday! But other times it’s just the small things in life adding up and making you feel out of control. Or it might be one event like losing your job or a sudden illness.

Stress busters

Fortunately there are many things you can do to relieve stress. Obviously if you end up lying awake at night worrying or not focusing during the day then you might need professional help. CBT, counselling or hypnotherapy can all be useful mind techniques to help you get out of the loop of stressful thinking.

But if your stress feels manageable and you need some day to day help, here are three ideas to consider:

Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps you to get into the present moment where you’re not worrying about the past or fretting about the future. And, when you really think about it, at any moment in time we’re usually actually ok and safe. 99% of the time, it’s the worrying that causes stress, not the events themselves.

Nature

Nature is a wonderful healer who doesn’t charge an entrance fee! You don’t have to travel miles either – just sit outside with a cup of tea and focus on any nature you can see – even in a city you can have a few pots of flowers to enjoy or hear birds singing. If you can schedule the time though, pull on your trainers and go for a long walk.

Hobbies

Indulging in a hobby you love is a fantastic way to relieve stress because it puts your focus elsewhere. By taking up a new, absorbing pasttime you’ll be able to put your mind to good use, rather than having it tying you up in knots with obsessive worrying. Pick something creative that you love to lose the time in or choose something that’s slightly mentally challenging so you really need to focus.

What do you do to keep stress at bay?

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