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Stress can affect the body in so many ways.  We all know the symptoms – butterflies in the tummy, IBS symptoms, headaches or migraine, aches and pains, tight jaw!!  And many many more so how can we deal with stress??  Here are my top tips to help manage stress.

Did you know that when you are stressed you body produces a hormone called Cortisol.

High levels of cortisol interfere with learning and memory, lowers the  immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease – amongst many other things.

So top tip number 1: Exercise can reduce stress because it uses up the energy produced by Cortisol.  Even better if you add relaxation into the mix as it switches off the stress response before it starts.

Top tip number 2: Can you identify what switches your stress response ON!!  Once you’ve identified it you can help deal with it.  Could it be worrying about the future??  Acknowledge that worrying is trying to predict the future but only thinking about what might go wrong.  You can’t always avoid your stress triggers, but you can learn to deal with them differently.

Top Tip no 3: Taking time out for yourself and having fun helps reduce stress.  Leave work at work to reduce your stress, focus on yourself and your family for a while.  Laughter decreases the number of stress hormones in our bodies and increases the endorphins that make us feel good.

Top Tip No 4: Stress puts a strain on your body, eat the healthiest diet you can to reduce the effects.  A lot of people experience stress through their gut.  The gut is the emotional centre of the body so using a simple technique like the Emotional Stress Relief point can be really beneficial.  Here is some more information about this amazing technique: Fantastic Stress Relief Technique.

Top tip No 5: Try not to put too much stress on yourself.  Words like ‘must’ and ‘should’ put pressure on you, and can lead to stress.  Strive for excellence instead of perfection to reduce your stress.  Creating a plan to deal with a stressful situation makes you feel more in control.

Top tip no 6:  Mindfulness helps you focus on the here and now, and worry less about the future.  Don’t forget stress comes from your thoughts, not your experiences: learn to think more positively.  We’e all seen the lovely adult colouring book in newsagents and book shops.  Mindfully drawing and doodling encourages physical relaxation and lowers activity in the amygdala, which in turn helps reduce the stress response.

The main thing to remember is – if you are stressed its ok to ask for help!!  Don’t let fear hold you back. Speak up about stress: it helps to tell others how you feel.  Dealing with whatever the stress is – or what is causing the stress is better than living with it.

My name is Julie Elder and I am a complementary therapist/yoga teacher at Totally Holistic Health.  I am passionate about helping your body stay healthy in a natural and holistic way.

To find out more information on how I can help you please feel free to check out my website at www.totallyholistichealth.co.uk.

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