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Health and Beauty Articles

Sort your stress!

Too much work; too little sleep; too much worry; too little time: ahh, the stress see-saw. This tends to equal one very touchy and albeit frightening individual! Every one of us experiences stress at different times of our lives. How we care for and nurture the stress will determine how long it will inconveniently stick around for!
A friend of mine recently made a simple but interesting observation. The three elements that shape our lives are our health, our relationships and money. When one of these is unbalanced stress starts to rear its ugly head; when two of these are unbalanced stress has a firm grip in your mind and is ticking over constantly; when three of these are unbalanced stress tends to consume your life and can be detrimental to your health and happiness.
Stress makes the body and mind work overtime, and can make you feel uptight, anxious, worried and frightened about what is happening in your life at the time. Change ultimately induces stress; people don’t necessarily like change but it is inevitable. Areas to look at that will make a significant difference in stress are time management; sleep patterns; diet and fitness; and taking up a hobby to take your mind off things.

Identify the sources of stress in your life

Before you can tackle your stress, you need to find the source of it. Remember in school when your teacher would rant and rave about the glory that was the mind map? The sheet with the wee bubble-cloud in the middle of the page that contained weird and wonderful ideas to change the world sprouting from it? Well, start combating your stress using this effective method! You would normally see a pattern develop with all the instances that you write down (health, money, relationships or other.) Have a serious think about all aspects that you’ve written down and decide if they are things that you can or can’t control/change. If they’re changeable, write a list of things you can do to remedy them. If not, accept what’s happening in your life and think about a change of lifestyle to help take the edge of the stress.
Simplify your life and delegate responsibilities
Is your husband (or wife!) putting his (or her!) feet up while you’re multi-tasking at 100 miles per hour stirring the casserole on the cooker, answering the phone, hoovering the entire house, ironing a mountain of clothes, cleaning the floors and while you stop everything to run the kids to football and come home to regain your stressed stance to start it all over again? Stop!
It’s unrealistic to be expected to be the sole person for keeping on top of everything. You’re only one person! Delegate chores, shopping and general running around to other people, taking the weight of your shoulders. Make up a weekly rota where others can help you – and be ruthless! A continuance of this kind of lifestyle will make you resentful as well as leaving you with no ‘me-time’ to reflect on the good things in life.

Learn to relax

Isn’t calm and relaxation a wonderful prospect and ideal? Occasionally I see client’s that will be over-whelmed by the relief that they feel from simply relaxing through a massage or facial. Finding a space away from your normal environment is the key to true relaxation. I know myself that although I will have looked forward to a bath the entire working day that I’m no sooner in the bath that I’m thinking ‘What should I make for dinner tonight... I need to get a birthday present for my friend... oh dash; I need to pay that bill...’ etc.! I couldn’t recommend enough to take some time out once a month to have a spa treatment, go for a long walk or even go out for a chilled out dinner with your friends or partner!

Let off steam!

I find nothing is more stress relieving than hammering the treadmill or punching out any frustrations in kick-boxing (my new favourite past time!) Exercise releases hormones and endorphins in the body which regains balance and control back into everyday life; leaving you with better all round focus. It is the most natural and effective method to combat stress.
Every individual is different in terms of what exercise is best suited to them. If your job is quite inactive and you’re not moving around much all day then a more high impact exercise such as a fitness class or the gym would be best suited to burn off all of that wasted energy. If you’re the opposite and are on your feet all day then a good stretching exercise would be advised to relax those over-worked muscles; such as swimming or yoga.
Try exercising for 20-45 minutes 3 times a week to keep motivated and positive, and ultimately to wave goodbye to stress!

Have fun!

Have you ever thought after a good belly-aching laugh, ‘Wow, I can’t remember the last time I laughed like that’?

Try and associate yourself with those around you who bring out the best in you, and avoid those that make you feel down-right miserable about yourself. Spending time doing something that you love and makes you smile/laugh shouldn’t be a once a month treat, it should be something you’re doing every second day! Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones in the body and enhances endorphins, as well as providing a physical and emotional release. If it’s sing star, a game of articulate, go-karting or a dance class that floats your boat, get off your butt and do it!
Put things in perspective
When stress is running you to the ground take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Look at the good things you have in your life, the things you have achieved and things to look forward to in the future. I always have to nip myself in the arm after I watch one of the recent catastrophes on the news (usually when I’ve just been shouting my head off that I’ve forgotten to buy milk down at the shops!)

What not to do!

There are certain elements that will heighten stress and aggravate it: things like smoking; over-eating; under-eating; drinking too much; using pills or drugs to relax; over-sleeping; withdrawing from friends and family; indulging in conversations that will upset you or make you angry; ‘bottling up’ feelings and emotions; zombifying yourself in front of the TV night after night; lashing your stress out on other people and not managing your time in a realistic way.
So go on, don’t let stress ruin and rule your life; grab it by the scruff of the neck and tell it where to go! Identifying and facing stress is only the beginning; you have to make time for yourself to do things that make you feel happier and healthier in the long run.


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