As we have outlined before, stress is part and parcel of our daily lives, but there is much you can do to manage and reduce it.
Last time we looked at some of the most powerful and beneficial stress reduction tools and techniques, focusing on three core areas: sleep, supplements and meditation.
In part 2 of our “Modern Man’s Guide To Stress Reduction”, we look at three other ways you can help keep stress at bay; again, it is all pretty straightforward, especially once you know what your triggers are, what will make things worse and what you can do to help yourself.
Reduce Stress By Exercising
One of the best ways to manage stress is through exercise. Exercise helps boost serotonin levels, and a lack of serotonin is known to cause depression, anxiety and, yes, stress.
NHS guidelines currently recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week, and the most common suggestion is to do 30 minutes five days a week. So, take up cycling, go for a swim, go for a run, or join a football team or hockey team, whatever you enjoy – but get active. However, if you haven’t done any exercise for a while, be patient, as you may need to build up your fitness levels again.
If possible, also try and do as much outdoor exercise as you can, since sunlight is said to be great for boosting mood. So, in this case, you can get a good “two-for one”.
Healthy Eating Can Help Reduce Stress
Another way to boost your mood and reduce stress is through diet and eating the right things. When pushed for time or in a rush, it’s always tempting to reach for something quick and convenient; but in the long-term, this will only make matters worse, especially if it becomes the norm. So, try and avoid processed foods, and don’t automatically reach for a caffeine fix when you’re feeling tired, whether it be coffee or an energy drink. If possible, also avoid unwinding with too much alcohol, and don’t comfort eat.
Many experts say that various fresh foods are beneficial in helping us deal with stress, for example asparagus, avocados, berries, nuts and garlic. Herbal teas are also recommended, as well as dark chocolate — but try not to go mad and pig out with the latter.
Take Back Control
Lastly, take a little bit of time each day to plan what you have to do and decide what can be done another day. This will help you to stop feeling overwhelmed and, in turn, getting anxious and stressed. It’s all about prioritising and organization — and also making sure that you include some “you time”.
Time for you could include engaging in a hobby, playing a game or watching a favourite TV show. You could also consider taking up some new games. For example, roulette, crabs, blackjack and baccarat have been popular for hundreds and even thousands years, with some dice games dating back to the dawn of recorded history. So, over the years such pursuits have clearly proven enjoyable. Ideally you want to do something that will take your mind off of work or any deadlines, and something social like playing a game with friends is great for doing just that.
Remember these tips — including those three core areas of sleep, supplements and meditation — and you can help yourself beat stress and stay well. That also means you will feel better and get more out life. At the end of the day, that has to be something worth striving for, and it is attainable for all modern men.