Stress beating tips, keep your cool man it’s not that bad!
Modern day living is a pretty stressful affair, and you would be pretty naive for thinking otherwise. We have a lot more to deal with than previous generations as far as living is concerned, longer working weeks, bigger social pressures and a society that expects instant gratification all contribute to a stressful lifestyle.
Stress is not something you want to hang on to, it can make you incredibly ill, a good example of this would be the tragic incident involving Derek Bird, who spectacularly ‘lost it’ and killed and maimed innocent people in the process. I’m not saying if your stressed your going to go on a killing spree, but who the heck wants to live a life of misery? Happiness and contentment is what were all aiming for after all. Here is a guide to keeping stress levels to a minimum, helping you build a better stress free life.
Cut down your work
This is something that is easier said than done I know, many of us work 60 hours a week or more when in fact most of us don’t need to. Money is important for keeping a family going and sustaining a decent style of living, but you have to measure what is an acceptable working week and what you can afford to live on comfortably. It is also worth looking into other jobs in your field, if you are experienced and have a bunch skills in a particular field then look for a job that has less hours and better pay, and before you say anything they do exist, it’s just a matter of getting your head out of the sand, out of that rut and looking around.
Eat well and be merry
It seems to go hand in hand that the more people work the worse their diet gets, having working lunches to get things finished, missing breakfast and eating fast food are common problems with people that lead busy lifestyles. I know people that are so busy they will eat anything to hand just to fill themselves up regardless of whether they like it or not!
You don’t have to go on a crazy diet of water and celery, just eat 3 square meals a day, get in your 5 a day and make sure to get away from the office when on lunch. There are some super stress busting foods to help you, try some of these:-
- Lean meat
- Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, cabbage
- Porridge for breakfast
- White fish
- Pulses and grains
Get some sleep!
A big contribution to stress is not getting the right amount of sleep, not just too little but also too much. Unfortunately our body plays mean tricks on us, when you have had too much sleep your body tends to make you feel more tired, making you think you need more sleep, well you don’t! There have been many studies over the past 40 years on how much sleep a healthy adult should have and the recommended amount is between 7-9 hours a night. Try it out, instead of staying up until 3 am working, go to bed at a reasonable time, get say 8 hours kip and wake up and have a breakfast of some fruit, yogurt and wholegrain cereal. I tried this out after being stressed and I felt brilliant all day.
Recognise you are stressed
A big factor in beating stress is recognising that you are stressed, arguing to yourself that your fine will only heighten your stress levels. Sit down on your own in a quiet place and start thinking seriously about why you might be stressed, and more importantly accept that your are. Acceptance is half the battle.
Get regular exercise
Exercise is good for getting fit, that is a well known fact, but exercise is also good for beating stress, it helps unload pent up emotions. If you are going to do exercise for stress don’t just go to the gym and run on a treadmill for 2 hours, pick something that you actually enjoy, like squash, tennis, football or whatever. Enjoying your exercise is paramount for this tip to work.
Stay away from booze, fags and caffeine
I know many people that have either one or all of the above in an aid to stop stress, this is completely the wrong way to go. I know this from experience, when I get really wound up I used to have a few beers, this I found out, only exaggerated my stress levels and made the situation worse, the same goes for cigarettes and caffeine, a good dose of vitamin C and some fresh air goes a long way in calming you down, plus it’s a lot better for you.
Unload your worries
As men we tend to build up our problems and often refrain from telling others about our worries. Simply talking to a close friend or relative about your concerns will help relieve tension, even if they don’t agree, just having that outlet is enough on it’s own.
Be reasonable with others
A factor that many struggle with. When you are highly stressed other peoples actions however small can irritate you to the extreme, it could be a mother with a screaming baby on the bus, your girlfriend nagging at you for not washing up, pretty much anything. Take a step back and look at the situation for what it is…trivial. The mother with the screaming baby can’t help it, and I expect your girlfriend nagged you about the washing up because you were too lazy to do it.
A very simple tip to finish, smiling releases chemicals in your brain that heighten pleasure and assurance, it makes you feel better inside. So whenever your feeling a bit down, find opportunities to smile. I don’t mean smile like a weirdo at everyone you meet, just a nod and a wink at a pretty lady will perk you up, even more so if she smiles back!
Life is full of ups and downs, some of us get more stressed than others but coping with it is not as difficult as it seems. Follow just 1 or 2 of these tips and I bet you will feel better. Life is for enjoying, don’t let stress ruin it for you!
If you have any stress busting tips you want to share with our readers, leave a comment.