A BIT of stress is vital to motivate you and make you smarter, happier and healthier.
But too much of it can be damaging to our health.
Chronic stress, or a constant stress experienced over a prolonged period of time, can contribute to long-term problems for heart and blood vessels.
Today Jane Atkinson looks at ways to try to deal with it . . .
Meditation helps us relax and leads to our heart rate and blood pressure decreasing. But if you’re like me and always have too many things racing around in your head, it isn’t easy.
Luckily, there is a brilliant new breathing and meditation aid called Melo that really helps.
It is an elegant-looking device and when it lights up you breathe in then when the light decreases you breathe out. There is a choice of breathing patterns.
You can keep your eyes closed too and follow its vibrations instead. It is discreet and fits into the palm of your hand so you could even use it on the bus or Tube.
Brilliant device. Simple, but it works. £49.99, theawellbeing.com.
Doing yoga in a 40C room, may sound hideous but it improves flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and bone density, and when I last tried it I burned 289kcal in a 90-minute class.
It also lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
In a 2018 study, a group of adults did three to five classes for 16 weeks and it significantly reduced their stress levels.
Plus they improved their self- efficacy – the belief that you have control over your behaviour and social environment.
I absolutely love it – there is no communicating at all during class so you have 90 minutes to concentrate on you. It can transform your figure and is perfect for winter because you feel boiling for at least an hour afterwards!
Most studios offer introductory offers. I paid £40 for 30 days’ unlimited classes at hotlotus.co.uk.
It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits.
That’s why The Stress Management Society, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals and companies recognise and reduce the impact of stress, has created a 30-Day Challenge for people to download and use from their website.
It is full of daily tips that are broken down into physcial, mental and emotional challenges such as encouraging you to speak to friends, to go for a walk, eat a balanced diet, drink water, write a letter or try a new exercise.
The challenge will maximise your chances of having a positive behavioural change – and reduce your stress.