4 tips to managing stress

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4 tips to managing stress

These days, our lives are consumed with work commitments, kids’ activities and the ever challenging attempt to achieve a true work/life balance.

So let’s make a deal, ok? Instead of stressing over all the things we can’t find the time to do, let’s look at ways we can clear our minds a little and dare I say, actually de-stress.

Here are some tips:

  • Eat healthy – When we’re stressed we tend to go for foods that actually decrease our body’s ability to combat stress, like caffeine or sugar. Instead try eating leafy greens and blueberries which can stabilize blood sugar and calm your responses.
  • Listen to music – Listening to calming music can help lift your spirits and has a positive effect on your brain and body. It also can help lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
  • Exercise – Exercise and physical activity helps produce endorphins – chemicals that act as natural painkillers – that can improve not only your mood, but also your ability to sleep, which in turns helps reduce stress.
  • Get enough sleep – When we sleep, our bodies are busy taking care of our physical and mental health and getting us ready for the next day. When we’re deprived of sleep, our brains can’t function properly, affecting our cognitive abilities and our mental state. The Sleep Foundation recommends an adult between the ages of 26-64 should get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.

“Stress can have a dramatic impact on our overall health and well-being,” said Laurie Mitchell, assistant vice president of global health and wellness at Unum. “While the connection between our minds and our bodies is often underestimated, stress can weaken our immune system and make us vulnerable to colds and infection. That’s why managing stress effectively is so important in protecting your health long term.”