10 Tips for Reducing Stress and Improving Your Health

Being stressed impacts on your health and wellbeing. It also impacts on your dental health increasing your risk of dental decay, gum disease, mouth ulcers, clenching and grinding, facial pain, cold sores and poor oral hygiene. A holistic approach deals with the underlying cause of a problem as well as the symptoms that result. When you feel under pressure try these fabulous tips to decrease your stress levels and take care of your health.

1. Stay calm and centered. Remember to stay calm and take it easy. When you feel stressed close your eyes and breathe gently in and out through your nose, make your breaths long and steady but gentle.

2. Care for yourself. No one can take care of you as well as you can. Say when you need a break, take time out for you and do things that help you unwind

3. Sleep well live well. Having the right amount of sleep changes your outlook on life. You feel more alive, less reactive, more productive and much more joyful. Aim to prepare well for sleep by winding down and relaxing before bed. Choosing not to stay up late and waking early leaves you feeling the most rejuvenated.

4. Eat well and avoid stimulants. Food is our best medicine or worst poison. A healthy diet keeps the body strong and is perfect for wellbeing. Watch those double shot lattes and avoid sugar and processed foods full of additives. Caffeine and nicotine put more stress on the nervous system by producing adrenalin and cortisol. Repeated use of stimulants adds to the stress of modern life.

5. Stop the clock. Constantly telling yourself that you are short of time speeds up your biological clock resulting in faster heart rate, increased blood pressure and more adrenalin production. Stay in the present moment and focus on the task at hand, your body clock will slow down, and time seems to expand for you.

6. Take control of anxiety. When we expect the worst and expect things to go badly it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of focusing on the negative, picture how you would like things to turn out and put a positive outcome in its place. This helps you to overcome negativity and feel less reactive to situations and people.

7. Avoid conflict and hostility. The stress of extended and unresolved conflict is as dangerous as smoking. So get honest, look at what is behind the conflict, deal with the issues and seek resolution.

8. Let go of perfection. There is no such thing as perfect. Be able to let things go and accept them for how they are without the need for control or perfection. Make mistakes and learn from them. Setting unrealistic expectations is setting you up for more stress.

9. Connect to nature and the Divine. Instead of drinking or using drugs, try walks in nature, meditation or prayer. Stress tends to dissolve away when you connect to your inner most.

10. Go with the flow. Stress is not something out there in the environment; it is in how you handle it. So prepare yourself to deal with life; have fun, laughter, connection, exercise, sleep, meditation, and love in your life and you will be better equipped to deal with whatever the World throws at you.

- Article By Dr Rachel Hall 
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