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Combat the feeling of stress
Friday 9 February 2018 

At times life seems to throw too much your way. Please don't let stress get the better of you.  Paul Scott, Matron at Ashtead Hospital, gives a few tips on how to keep stress levels under control.

Reduce caffeine intake

If you reduce your caffeinated drinks you may find that you reduce the stress placed on your body and it will improve your sleep and brain and body function. Drink more water, tap water is fine.

Sleep

Sleep helps to clear the mind, process all you have learnt in the day and essential for brain and body function each new day.  Make sure your bedtime routine is regular and that you are getting enough sleep to ensure your mind and body are ready for the next day. Try to avoid electronic devices before you go to bed, ie tablets or mobile phones, some evidence shows that the lighting behind screens stimulated the brain rather than allowing it to start to unwind.

Be positive

Try to increase the positive side of your mind rather than negative emotions by writing down one thing you have appreciated in the day. If you increase the level of positivity going through you your mind you will be balancing  out the negativity and will boost your emotional health and help your mind function in a more positive way. This is difficult to do. A technique that may help is to visualise each of the individual issues that are having a negative effect or you find upsetting and realise them from your mind, try saying “ I am letting you/this go” and moving on to the next area. Clear the negative from your mind one by one and embrace the positives  of your day, the kind gesture from a colleague the nice thing you did for someone else, it doesn’t matter how small these are, I got my report in? I got the children to school despite the traffic and having to do everything else before the school run, are all positives and deserve to be recognised by you.

Breathe

Try a few deep breathing exercises and focus on your heart or breath – this can help to 'reset' your mind so that we can become better able to handle the tasks ahead.  Try the six-breath test: Sit calmly and breathe at a rate of five seconds in, five seconds out, focusing on your heart. This should help the brain to synchronise with the heart….. and in turn help your body regulate itself. Some people find trying to visualise coloured air being inhaled into the body and with every breath the coloured warming light reaches into your body and every breath out empties the darker air containing the stress and upset.

Encourage 

Do a good turn for someone else and feel good about yourself!  The smallest random act of kindness early in the day can make you feel so much better. We all like to hear positive things about ourselves and others but we often forget to tell one another about the positive things they do. By doing this it can increase your sense of wellbeing and feeling of support and inclusion for the rest of the day.


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