Best Strategies to Reduce Stress*

Tuesday, 18 October 2016, By Korcan Tuna

While on your fat loss journey, stress can play an influential role in reaching your end target. In this article we will look at some ways in which we can manage and control stress when we are hit by it! Listed below are some methods and techniques which you may find useful right now. These methods may prove useful, but remember everyone is different so find what works best for you!

 

Meditation

In a study conducted on industrial workers, meditation and yoga proved to reduce stress significantly among workers. When performed correctly, meditation is said to help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Thus helping us relieve stress and anxiety.

A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation session can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.

  • Sit in a position that feels most comfortable to you; keep your back straight so you do not feel sleepy or sluggish.
  • Free your mind from distractions
  • Close eyes or partially close eyes
  • Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils
  • Without attempting to control your breath, try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.

The sensation of focusing on breathing naturally and immersing yourself in the feeling of it is the object of meditation. You should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else. As different thoughts crash into your mind, you should refocus your attention on breathing once again. It is natural for our minds to wander especially with our often hectic and busy lives, but we should resist and remain focused on the sensation of the breath.

 

Listening to Music

Listening to music with the aim of relaxation has been shown to reduce stress. A German University study, conducted both subjectively and objectively, identified music as a means of effective stress reliever. 55 participants in the study listened to music each day at specific times. Measurement of stress was made possible by the use of a scale ranging from 1 to 5 to rate their perceived stress levels, followed by a saliva test. Subjectively recorded data, provided by the 5-point Likert scale, suggested lower levels of perceived stress by participants who listened to music. Objective data, measurement of saliva sample, suggested decreased levels of cortisol in the body (Linneman et al. 2015)

 

Changing your posture

We often talk about mind to body connection, but it also goes the other way around. Studies have shown that changing the way you stand can change your emotions. Stand up, or sit up tall, rather than slouched with rounded shoulders. One of the main reasons for this is to let your body breathe and enable it to fill with oxygen freely, rather than restricting it while hindering its ability to effectively take up oxygen. Having a good posture will also convey an image of confidence and if you look confident it is only a matter of time until your mind catches up and you will feel confident.

Take a moment each day to consciously correct your posture, and release any tension that may be experienced in your muscles, start from bottom and work your way up from your feet to your head.

 

Anti Stress Foods

When under added stress our body's nutritional requirements change. Our body's often need additional energy when under stressful situations to cope with the dilemma at hand. B vitamins play a vital role in converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats to energy. Because our bodies need more energy when under stressful situations, it requires more of these vitamins present to convert energy from macronutrients consumed so the body can function as it should.

Also, Vitamin C plays a big role in keeping proper function of the adrenal glands which secrete stress hormones. Experiencing stress by the body may lead to depletion of these vitamins therefore it is important to consume foods that contain them.

Add some of these foods to your diet to assist you with stress!

B Vitamins - Beef liver is an excellent source of B vitamins, it is also packed with protein! If Beef Liver is not your cup of tea, Bananas, Wild Salmon, Tuna, Eggs and Almonds are also great sources of B Vitamins.

Vitamin C - Good sources include papayas, blackcurrants, strawberries, mangoes, Kiwi fruit and green peppers.

 

References

Linneman, A. & Ditzen, B. et al 2015, "Music listening as a means of stress reduction in daily life', Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 60, pp. 82-90

Bonetti, B. 2014, "How To Stress Less" , UK

http://www.how-to-meditate.org/ for Information on meditation

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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