November 4th sees Stress Awareness Day in the UK. We all know what it's like when you feel stressed - heart rate increases, you might feel a bit sick - but how about when your body is under stress but you don't even know it. This is when stress can be dangerous. So what are the best ways to reduce stress in all areas of your life?
1. Get your blood pressure checked. High Blood Pressure is known as the silent killer because hypertension and coronary heart disease can go unnoticed until something drastic happens. Monitoring your blood pressure regularly will guarantee that you're never entering a zone of risk. Visit the doctor to get checked or invest in your own home monitoring kit. 120 over 80 is 'normal' and if you find that your numbers are high there are plenty of changes you can make to your diet and your exercise routine that will fix the situation quickly.
2. Take regular time outs during the day. A sequence of stressful events during a day can mount up and leave you feeling frazzled by bedtime. Stress isn't always bad and sometimes we need it to really get us motivated but just make sure you balance stressful events with time to nourish your mind and body and refocus. Change your scene, get some fresh air, eat a healthy snack or do something fun.
3. Get organised. Stress creeps in when we feel out of control. Look at everything you need to do each day and prioritise carefully. Tackle the big projects first and tick off your daily successes. Keep track of the way you organise yourself every day that brings you the best results and leaves you feeling stress free. Then aim to run each day in the same way.
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Photograph by BrittneyBush (Flickr)