7 Experts give their tried & tested tips for reducing stress
15th November 2018 / Health
7 Experts give their tried & tested tips for reducing stress
Finding ways to reduce stress is essential to staying happy and healthy amongst all the stresses of modern life. To help you in your quest to feel cool, calm and collected we've asked 7 experts for their tried and tested tips to de-stress naturally.
Cut the caffeine
The first tip, from nutrition guru Phoebe Liebling doesn’t really come as a surprise. Phoebe’s sound advice is to simply cut down on caffeine.
“The stimulating effects we feel from that morning cup of coffee come from sparking our body to produce adrenaline, but it’s also adrenaline and another hormone cortisol that are produced when we are stressed and anxious. Decreasing your coffee intake is a fantastic way to reduce anxious feelings and improve sleep, and/or swapping to a green tea or matcha over coffee will provide an element of stimulation but in a far gentler form for your body. Additionally green tea and matcha contain L-theanine which helps to calm the ‘wired but tired’ feeling many of the people I see in my clinic experience so this swap is a win-win in my book.”
Phoebe is a qualified nutritional therapist based on Harley Street with a seriously delicious instagram account full of fantastic recipe ideas (@_naturalnourishment).
Balance your blood sugar levels
“Stop the release of stress hormones by keeping your blood sugar levels nicely balanced. If you don’t eat regularly enough, or your diet isn't balanced, your blood sugar can spike and crash erratically. Your body reacts by producing insulin and cortisol, which leads to symptoms like anxiety, irritability and even panic attacks. Your diet is the largest physiological change you can make if you want to feel calm and balanced . Try eating every three hours, and always balancing carbohydrates with protein or healthy fat. Also avoid excess caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars as too many of any of these creates a sugar spike.”
Take time to eat
“Make time for lunch! So often we sit at our desks without giving ourselves a break or making time for the all important thing that is eating. Food should be enjoyed and we should try to pay attention to eating as it’s about more than just fuelling ourselves. Eating is a sensory, social and enjoyable experience and if you’re plugged into your desk and eating mindlessly, it may impact how you feel afterwards – still hungry? Unsatisfied? Needing a snack? Unrested? Take time away, even if it’s just 10 minutes to stretch your legs, switch off and sit down to appreciate some good food.”
“I do like to fit a workout in but a workout that fits with my mood - so even if it’s just a walk outside in the fresh air/a short run or a class at the gym it’s a chance to take a break from the day before getting back to work”
Allocate some ‘me time’
Alex Gear, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Naturopath and chef also agrees that making enough time for yourself and giving yourself a break from the many distractions of 21st century life is fundamental in lowering stress levels.
“Learning to relax is so important for our health and wellbeing and especially important for the brain. Taking some time off for relaxation is vital to give your mind and body the chance to switch off. All too often we switch from one thing to another and our brains are constantly on high alert. This can affect our brain health, concentration, focus, sleep and mood.
Over a period of time, increased levels of stress and anxiety can lead to an abundance of serious health problems. This is precisely why you should not wait until stress has a negative impact on your life.”
Alex’s Instagram (@alexnutritionforlife) is all about looking after yourself and offers tips on how to eat for a stress-free life.
Start with a smoothie
Ever wondered what an international yoga teacher does to de-stress? We asked Natasha Cornish of Yoga Ever After (@natashacornishyoga) about naturally de-stressing and how even yoga teachers can get caught up in the non-stop motions of 21st century life.
"As a yoga instructor it's assumed I live a stress free life but this is not the case on my busy days. I manage the pressures of running from place to place to teach by always making time for my morning smoothie which is packed with goodness, a practice (even if 10 mins is all I have time for) and I always try to think of 5 gratitudes each day, which is the best way to help me gain perspective when I'm feeling overwhelmed."
Finally, we’ll leave you with a little breathing exercise (which you can try right now) to try to help you de-stress in a moment’s notice. This 5 Count Breath method comes from Sarah the Northern Yogi (@northernyogisarah)
Breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 5 will bring your heart rate right back to around 60bpm, the perfect rhythm. You can practice this breathing exercise at any time of day
Need a little extra helping hand? Link Nutrition's Relax complex is designed to help fortify you against the stresses of modern life, by providing you with a blend of B vitamins, magnesium, turmeric powder, lions mane and reishi mushrooms plus 60mg of L-theanine, to promote relaxation without sedation. Try it for 20% off using code STRESS20
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