5 Stress-Busting Tips for Everyday Life

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, 84.9% of adults have reported they’ve felt stressed or anxious, leaving them feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to cope.

Stress is our body’s reaction to pressures from a situation or life event. In many everyday situations, it can be seen as a normal reaction that helps keep us awake and alert, but when stress becomes excessive or persists over a long period of time the opposite happens.  

The knock-on effects of stress can have a vast impact on our mental and physical wellbeing, whilst disrupting the balance of hormones naturally released, particularly cortisol – the stress hormone known for producing the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ response.

Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, co-founder of The London Sleep Centre and consultant neuropsychiatrist, comments:

“When our internal neuro-chemical systems are working normally, they regulate biological processes like sleep, appetite, mood and energy levels. If we are stressed, the Adreno-Cortical System is dysregulated, and our energy sources are diverted.

Whilst this system is great for helping us in the short-term and emergency situations, it can have serious health impacts if that stress response stays switched on for long periods. From nausea and headaches, to sleep deprivation and mood changes, stress triggers a hormonal response that floods the body leading to far-ranging symptoms that can be physically or mentally harmful.

It’s important to recognise when you’re stressed so you can intervene before it affects your long-term health. Common signs of stress could include difficulty concentrating, interrupted sleep, breathlessness, irritability, or low energy.

You can’t avoid stress, but you can stop it from becoming overwhelming by practicing some daily strategies:

Exercise – Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, or a virtual workout, exercise encourages the body to release endorphins which counteract the release of cortisol. Getting outside in the fresh air not only clears the airways, but a daily dose of Vitamin D supports the body’s natural mood-regulating system.

Eat Well – A balanced diet can­ reduce the physical effects of stress. Start the day with a warm bowl of porridge to boost levels of serotonin, a calming chemical found in the brain; incorporate foods rich in Vitamin C for their immune-boosting properties, and stock up on leafy greens full of magnesium to compound the effects of stress.

Take a breath – When we’re stressed our breathing speeds up and our breaths become shallow. Research shows that practising controlled breathing techniques is an effective way to reduce stress. Breathing deeply triggers our parasympathetic nervous system which can reduce feelings of tension and stress.

Try a herbal remedy – Herbal remedies have been used to treat stress and improve wellbeing for many years. Valerian Root, found in Kalms Day tablets, has been found to relieve irritability, anxiety, and the stresses of everyday life, without risk of sedation.

Prioritise sleep – Sleep is our body’s natural healing process and it’s a powerful tool to help reduce stress. However, when we’re stressed, achieving a good night’s sleep can feel even further out of reach. Consistent bedtime routines, a calming bedroom environment or even taking a valerian root-based sleep aid can help you drift off without feeling drowsy the next day.

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.