REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Virtually all forms of exercise can be a great way of managing stress. Keeping active is a recognised way of reducing the body’s stress hormones as well as activating many of our ‘feel good’ hormones. When using exercise as a way of managing stress, it’s important to focus less on long-term goals and more on activities that have an immediate effect on stress levels and also help to enhance your frame of mind.
When you are chronically stressed, try and resist the temptation to over train, as excessive exercising can be another way of releasing stress hormones, which at this point is best avoided
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Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the body’s best ways of dealing with any form of chronic stress. But stress itself can often be the cause of not getting the quality of sleep we need. If this is the case, try using relaxing breathing techniques 20 minutes before you go to bed to reduce stress hormones and increase the hormones responsible for restorative sleep.
Be aware that when stressed getting too much sleep can be as detrimental as getting too little. Try to aim for around 7 to 8 hours of quality restful sleep.
One of the problems we face is that society doesn’t put too much value on the idea of proper rest. We think we re resting but often we’re just replacing one activity with another. Watching TV at the end of the day, or surfing the web at night doesn’t qualify as quality rest. Remember that quality of rest relates to quality of life.
Other ways of getting quality rest and restoration can include things like meditation, breathing exercises, guided relaxation, hypnotherapy, saunas and forms of bodywork like massage.