Everyone feels stressed.
Whether it’s endless emails, juggling work with childcare, or pressure to prove yourself – we all feel the constraints of the daily grind.
Indeed, a recent study shows one in four workers admit stress has driven them to take time off work.
But there are some things you can do to alleviate that anguish.
From drink recommendations to anti-anxiety techniques, we have spoken to a group of experts for nerve-soothing lifestyle tips to help you stop sweating the small stuff.
Whether it’s endless emails, juggling work with childcare, or pressure to prove yourself – we all feel the constraints of the daily grind
1. WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS
One of the most challenging issues for every working adult is how to fit everything into 24 hours.
When work starts early and runs late, it is difficult to fit in a social life and stay active and healthy.
That was a key motivation for Katie Booth in creating Fitssi, the new social fitness app.
‘Working out with others means you can have a laugh, spend quality time with friends or meet like minded people, but instead of sharing a drink at the pub you can be getting fitter and healthier,’ explains Katie, CEO of Fitssi, explains.
Chris Sweeney, COO and co-founder of Fitssi, adds: ‘Working out can play a major role in managing stress levels.
‘There are two main factors affecting this, firstly, any physical activity boosts the production of the ‘happy hormone’ endorphin, also commonly known as the ‘runner’s high’.
When work starts early and runs late, it is difficult to fit in a social life and stay active and healthy
‘Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, which reduces the feeling of pain and helps you to relax. The second and I think most significant, is the social experience of working out with friends.
‘Very often, my sessions double into therapy sessions – it’s easier to get things of your chest amongst likeminded people.
‘It’s all about getting together, socialising and working out because its good for you but also just great fun!’
2. GO GREEN
Coffee has become the go-to beverage for office workers to get through the day.
But you can get the same caffeine hit – with a swell of calming antioxidants – in green tea.
Green tea is an excellent healthy mood booster, explains Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com.
Studies have shown theanine – the active ingredient in green tea – relaxes brain waves, and the effect can last up to 12 hours.
It can also help relieve anxiety and mental stress by boosting your levels of dopamine (a ‘happy’ compound responsible for reward and pleasure).
3. PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE
‘If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
Indeed, work can be all-consuming.
However, without a clear mind, we struggle to make informed decisions, and to enjoy our job.
‘There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health,’ Dr Glenville insists.
‘Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much.’
She urges readers to draw clear lines for themselves, outlining what they can and cannot do.
‘Being assertive is invigorating and empowering,’ she says.
Crucially, she advises, you should write down your day plan.
‘It helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life.’
4. TRY PILATES
All forms of exercise will trigger a release of endorphins, making you feel happy.
As a low-impact form of toning, Pilates also allows you to give your mind a break.
‘Anyone who does Pilates regularly will recognize the moment a few minutes into a session when you get an overwhelming sense of release and calm, and, dare I say it, even joy,’ explains Lynne Robinson, author of Pilates for Life and founder of Body Control Pilates.
‘As your breathing deepens and settles into its rhythm, as your spine lengthens and unravels, as your deep core muscles connect and your limbs stretch out, mind and body unite and you suddenly feel in control.
‘Pilates will increase your flexibility and improve posture, as well as help to release tension.’
5. HAVE A LAUGH
Though stress can make us all feel miserable, actively inducing a laugh can be a game-changer – for our minds and bodies.
‘Many studies show that laughter boosts our energy, decreases stress hormones, improves immunity and diminishes pain,’ Dr Glenville explains.
‘But what’s very important for anyone, who is stressed, is that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed.’
6. EAT AVOCADO
Multiple studies have linked avocados with health benefits ranging from anti-ageing to warding off heart disease and even cancer.
Half a large avocado contains 180 calories and counts as one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
Avocados are also full potassium and vitamin E.
Multiple studies have linked avocados with health benefits ranging from anti-ageing to warding off heart disease and even cancer
They are naturally low in salt and contain fibre.
And they contain hundreds of powerful antioxidant plant chemicals.
‘Add avocado to your diet,’ Shona urges.
‘These are a good source of magnesium which helps with efficient energy production, while also helping to calm the nervous system.’
7. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Getting too little sleep alters our metabolism so our bodies cannot process food as effectively.
An extra hour could lead to visible weight loss within weeks, it has been claimed.
And many studies show late nights mean we snack more, and exercise less.
A quality sleep is essential for wellbeing and happiness, as not sleeping enough (four and a half hours a night) may lead to feeling stressed, angry, sad and mentally exhausted.
Getting too little sleep alters our metabolism so our bodies cannot process food as effectively