Stress is a very common “ailment” amongst people nowadays. Stress does not only plague adults but also children, who seem to have a never-ending list of things to do. A little stress may be good for us as it gives us the edge or drive to achieve something, but too much of it can be a killer. Too much stress can damage your body and mind and actually cause you to suffer from early illness or disorders, such as heart ailments, cancer, mental fatigue or even an emotional breakdown.


Here are some tips on how to de-stress and live healthily:

·         Laugh

Take a moment and read something funny or talk to someone you know will make you laugh. Watch a funny Youtube clip to lighten up and reduce the increasing levels of stress – a 5-minute breather usually does the job. When you laugh, the automatic nervous system mellows out and the heart relaxes. Laughter is also an excellent way to boost your immune system and help you fight the numerous viruses in the air. According to scientists, laughter can reduce three stress hormones, namely cortisol, epinephrine and dopac.


·         Exercise

Many of us have a wrong conception of exercise and think that it can actually tire us out and make us more stressed. On the contrary, exercise does wonders to relieve stress. Firstly, cardiovascular workouts can stimulate brain chemicals that help nerve cells grow. Secondly, exercises increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine – which are good for you. Thirdly, a raised heart rate releases endorphins, which reduces pain, induces euphoria and helps to control the brain’s response to stress and anxiety. A stroll after work is an excellent idea to de-stress after a long day in the office or school.


·         Snack

Eat a snack to relieve stress. This statement can often be misinterpreted to read as permission to overeat or binge. Yes, stress can cause people to overeat but it also depends on what you eat. Don’t run straight for the chips and crackers instead swap these for carrot or celery sticks. Let’s see how you binge or overeat on those.



·         Gardening

Spend some time with mother-nature and you will notice a great difference in your stress levels. Take a walk in the garden or potter around with your plants, it will give you some time to clear your thoughts, refresh and maybe even come up with new ideas. Plants are soothing and can positively affect one’s emotional state, so spend some time in the garden to de-stress.

De-stressing can be very subjective and basically revolves around doing something that you enjoy. For some people, bathing the dog, mopping, cleaning, cooking or baking can contribute to de-stressing. Therefore, look for a healthy activity that suits you to de-stress.


 By Christina Thomas

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