By Funmi Azike
Sticking to proper nutrition, exercise, and proper skincare will impact positively on your health and physical appearance. However, stress can singularly undo most of our efforts at stalling the aging process. In my opinion, stress is the one factor most responsible for accelerated aging. Our health and general wellbeing is greatly influenced by how well we are able to manage stress. There is no manual on stress management applicable to everyone because mitigating/militating factors differ. However the following tips can generally help you manage stress better.
- Try to relax as much as possible. I know, it’s not easy but you must make a conscious effort do something relaxing everyday even if it’s for a few minutes.
- Do not try to carry on as usual when you feel unwell, this will make you tired and feel down when you can’t do everything you normally do. Please rest.
- To improve relaxation, bath in/with warm water to improve circulation, ease tension and relax muscles. For a reinvigorating feel, you can splash on some cool water after the warm bath.
- Do not lie or sit for long periods of time without a good stretch. If you work behind a desk, make sure you get up and walk around or stretch properly every half an hour.
- Monitor which aspects of your life are most stressful and think of ways to avoid or reduce the stress factors.
- If you are going through a particularly stressful period, limit or better still avoid coffee, alcohol and smoking which only increases the tension after the initial temporary feeling of relief.
- Use your bedroom and night time for the things they are meant for – resting, sleeping and making love. When you are well rested, your thoughts are clearer, emotions more stable and you function better throughout the day.
- Give yourself a break from all the modern day distractions such as late night TV programs, texting, email, chatting, browsing, tweeting, face book activities etc. You might need to get rid of electronic gadgets (computers, music systems, cell phones and TVs) which may emit harmful radiation and deprive you of sleep.
- Keep your bedroom quiet: remove ticking clocks and if in a noisy environment, keep the windows closed or wear ear plugs. If you sleep with a partner that snores, wear earplugs.
- Use positive affirmations and visualisations to help you feel good about yourself and reach your goals. For example, if you say to yourself ‘I am happy with my body’ and picture in your mind a nice and toned look, you are likely to make healthier choices. Taking life easy and feeling happy about yourself will greatly improve your health.
- Try not to cut off from your friends and family. Be open and communicative about problems and anxieties. They don’t say ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved’ for nothing.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as quiet reflection. A long warm bath or meditations are also excellent relaxation techniques.
- Ensure balance of mind and body by breathing in deep. Breathing deeply slows the heart rate and pulse.
You can begin now to practice breathing exercises by taking a long deep breath and exhaling V-e-r-y S-l-o-w-l-y. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. Till next week, stay beautiful!