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  • Writer's pictureDerm

Our Top Ten Tips for Stress Busting

In these unprecedented times, we may face unprecedented stress and anxiety with being stuck away for weeks or months on end Here are our top ten tips that may help you through Self Isolation.

Just Google “Stress Management” and you will see no end of advice from any number of worthy advice givers and most of it good stuff although “Getting more Sleep” as advised by one site may be a tall ask if you are stressed into has put you into thinking over drive.

So here at Motivational Mindjam we've got our fave tips for helping manage stress and list them below in no particular order. Now some of them may seem a bit “cooky and far fetched” but go with the flow, these are all tried and tested...

Keep Hydrated

If we were doing this in a particular order, then this would feature very high on the list - and maybe even be at number one. It’s a largely ignored piece of advice in our normal day to day activities.

We know that we all need to drink water regularly throughout the day as much as two litres and even us Minjammers are not as good at this as we like to think we are. If I’m at my desk writing I find it easier to keep a topped up glass beside me and drink continually, but when I’m out and about not so.

I can remember many years ago we were on holiday in the States and were jumping around from one hotel/attraction to another we found that after a few hours we were just knackered and then it dawned on us that we simply were not keeing hydrated enough. We couldn't believe how much difference it made to our days once we started drinking. Lesson Learned.

Begin a Gratitude Diary

No matter how bad things can get, there is normally something to be grateful for.

What I do is think of five things each day and try to make them different from the day before. I make this a daily activity come what may, in good times and bad.

I suggest you write them down and refer to the list from time to time. If you run out of ideas, just be grateful of some of the things that you would normally take for granted.

I do this as part of my daily walk, which has become known in our house as "The Gratitude Walk". It really does help - particularly if you take the time to read it back.

This is a pure positivity exercise and is part of the aggregate of of positive gains that build up to an overall feeling of well being.

Try a simple breathing exercise that we call the Super Hero Pose.

Adopt the Super Hero Pose

This one is a great one to have up your sleeve for any time that you feel the stress coming on. It’s a simple breathing exercise and the Super Hero bit comes from the pose that many a cartoon character adopts - you know hands on the hip with the cloak waving in the wind behind them. And that is just the pose that we want you to adopt (cloak is optional ;o)

Stand upright hands on hips with a straight back and as tall as you can be and look straight ahead. Then carry out some of what we call power of 18 breathing - that’s in (through the nose if you can) for seven seconds and out through the mouth for eleven seconds. This is sometimes known as 7-11 breathing.

The whole point of this is to raise your physiology which is instrumental in achieving the feel good and the breathing just gets everyone under a little control.

An example of how this works can be found on YouTube HERE.

Listen to a relaxation recording

Never underestimate the benefits of what we used to call in the old days a relaxation tape. There is an awful lot of great free stuff available and to be fair the freebie's are there to try and draw you into a paid product. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the free stuff is of good quality.

These days they often known as "Guided Meditations or "Guided Hypnosis" and there are many about that you can buy or as I said even try for free. And indeed if you find one you like, then you may want to subscribe to theire paid product.

Whether or not you believe in all this "mumbo jumbo", just by taking the time out to listen, it itself can have a huge theraputic benefit. By saying to yourself and those around you that you are going to stop what you're doing

My good friend who I trained with - James Banfield in Surrey has some top quality stuff free up on YouTube and one of them in particular deals with problems and negitive emotions web - you can find it HERE

One of the other well known providers is Headspace, which is served via an app. Headpsace has something for everybody, which again is a paid for monthly subscription. You can download their app from your favourite "app store" and try their free sample or you can get it via the web HERE

Be selfish and do someone a favour

Ever noticed the buzz you get when you’ve helped someone out? The feel good factor from doing a good turn is again caused by a chemical release in the brain, which is sometimes known as Helpers High. Every time you do a good turn, the feel good chemicals are released in the brain and this can help reduce stress. In fact there was a study a little while ago on volunteering and hypertension, which concluded volunteering can even reduce blood pressure in some cases.

If you’re stuck in doors, then there may not be the opportunity to volunteer - but there may be a number of things that you can do from home, such as calling up people who may be in need of a chat. Give it some thought and be inventive.

When you’re out and about again - pay for the next person in line's coffee and see how good that makes you feel.

Don’t allow Negative Mind Chatter

We all talk to ourselves - it may not be out-loud, but we all have a dialog going on in our heads and that part of our brain that works hard behind the scenes is listening! The words that we say to ourselves is vitally important particularly in times of stress as Negative Mind Chatter can play a huge part in bringing us down and keeping us down.

Try to make your thoughts to yourself as positive as possible and don’t be over critical of your mistakes. Be aware when you are moving into the Negative Zone counteract it by saying something positive to yourself. You can take this a step further by indulging in some affirmations (see next item).

When you’re out and about again - pay for the next person in line's coffee and see how good that makes you feel.

Laughter is the best medicine

This saying is so old, it’s something my Mum used to say to me on a regular basis, but there is so much truth in it. We now know the science behind it. Laughter is known to reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body. So me old Mum didn’t realise it at the time but she was being very scientific in har approach.

Watch your fave comedy and have a good laugh or even just make yourself laugh out loud for no reason at all, other than to feel better. Your brain doesn’t know the difference so by just making yourself laugh will work. Go on don’t be shy - give it a go - I’ve been known to go for a walk with my headphones in and just laugh to myself as I walked, hoping that anyone who see’s me think I’m laughing at something I’m listening to.

Positive Affirmations

Studies have shown that positive affirmations can play a big part in creating a positive mindset and have been proven to re-wire our brain in a good way. Much like exercise they can too release those feel good chemicals.

This needn’t be you standing in front of the mirror chanting “I’m Great and I can be the best that I can be” although if that works for you carry on! You need to find something positive that you can say and can believe, but the important thing is that it becomes repetitive.

What will happen is sooner or later that part of the brain that we mentioned earlier will begin to believe it!

Turn up the Feelgood

I think we’ve even heard a Radio Station use this as a slogan, but it’s very true.

Music is a great anchor, it can remind us of loved one’s, holidays, great times. You’ll find that your likely to have a tune or two that will bring back all these memories - in NLP we call it an Anchor.

Find your positive tunes that will make you feel good and play them a lot. Also see if you can dig up a tune that will induce some kind of positivity and make that almost a mantra.

When times are rough in our house we sing a tune from a great 70’s band called Osibisa. They have a track called Woyaya which has a couple of lines in which go along the lines of “It will be fine we know and the road may get muddy and rough - but we’ll get there, heaven knows how we will get there, we know we will”.

We find that just by singing this out loud it really helps.

So find your Feelgood and turn it up!

Get some Exercise

It may not be possible to get outside and get some exercise, but if you can, get yourself outside and when you are, count some chimneys or tree tops (it’s all about raising your physiology which is a great stress buster in itself).

Exercise releases a load of those feel good chemicals and is known for being one of the best stress relievers. I know that not everyone likes to exercise, but we are living in unprecedented times - so set a new precedent and start to exercise.

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