In todays modern and fast paced world, many of us live in a constant state of stress.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps us deal with emergency situations. It causes the body to release adrenaline, which sends out a “fight or flight” message. Although this hormone is needed at times, when we are stressed on a daily basis cortisol builds up, tricking the body into thinking it’s in constant stress. This can have negative effects on the mind, body and skin.
Here are a few simple tips to help reduce the effects of stress on a daily basis.
Take A Moment
Every day, make time to spend somewhere quiet and focus on the present moment. Try to push away the tasks and stresses of the day and focus on your breathing. This will help to rest your mind, allow your body to relax and reduce levels of cortisol. Even just 10 minutes can make a big difference.
Tip: Try lighting an aromatherapy candle to aid your relaxation or take your ‘moment’ in the bath and add some aromatherapy oils such as lavender, Ylang Ylang or Patchouli.
Massage Your Body
Massage has so many positive effects on the body and is a great aid to relaxation. Not only does it increase blood circulation for healthier looking skin and body function, it also helps to produce serotonin for an improved state of mind.
Tip: After your evening bath or shower, massage a nourishing moisturiser or oil into your feet, legs hands and arms. Use slow, gentle upwards movements working up the body.
Intentionally create periods during your day where you stay away from your electronics, particularly in the evenings. Research has shown that HEV or Blue Light from LED screens increases cortisol in the brain and hinders the production of melatonin (needed to fall asleep).
Tip: Try to avoid using your LED devices at least 1 hour before bed for a deeper and improved quality of sleep.
Listen to your skin
Your skin is often the first to show signs of stress. When under extra pressure, its defence mechanisms become weaker making it prone to sensitivity, flakiness, dull tone and irritation. If you start to notice these changes in your skin, take note – this is your body’s warning sign that you need to slow down.
Tip: Try adding a regenerating night mask to your skincare routine, to save time and achieve quick results. Applied before bed, they form an invisible layer that locks in active ingredients, to repair and soothe the skin while you sleep.
Deep breathing is a great tool that can be used anywhere or anytime you feel stress levels starting to rise. Before reacting to a situation, stop and breath deeply. Just a few minutes of this has been proven to reduce cortisol, calming the mind and easing tension in the body.
Tip: Try this breathing technique – Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 2 and breathe out for 7. Repeat 5 times.
Your diet plays a huge role in helping your body to fight stress. The healthier and stronger your body, the better it can cope. Magnesium is known to regulate the nervous system, whilst Vitamin B helps to produce serotonin and melatonin (B6 &12), stabilise moods (B1) and produce energy (B9).
Tip: Try eating food high in these vitamins: Magnesium – Whole wheat, spinach, quinoa, nuts, seeds, beens and tofu. Vitamin B – Eggs, Wild Salmon, Lentils, Avocado, Broccoli, Beetroot.
We have to be intentional about creating these moments to take time out. Try not to let stress, business and ‘to-do lists’ control you. Your well being is essential in order to live a healthy, fulfilled and happy life.