April marks National Stress Awareness Month 2018, and it couldn’t come at a more important time; recent reports show that 12.5 million working days were lost in 2016/7 due to stress and resultant anxiety and depression.
It’s no secret that stress can quite easily open the gateway to other mental health issues, most commonly anxiety and depression, but how much do you know about the impact of stress on your physical health? And what can you do to reduce stress in your day to day life? I’ve got some suggestions for you…
The sad fact is that stress doesn’t just make you feel awful emotionally, but it exacerbates just about any health problem you can think of! It seems to worsen or increase the risk of health issues such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, obesity, gastrointestinal issues, headaches and migraines, accelerated ageing and even premature death.
So with this in mind, what can we do to reduce stress and keep health issues at bay?
Unsurprisingly, one of the best things you can do to reduce stress is to make sure you’re exercising regularly. Whether it’s a brisk walk in your lunch hour or a gym session in the morning/evening before work, getting your blood pumping is one of the best ways to reduce stress and feel healthier.
Make healthy life choices
When we make healthy life choices such as going for regular health checks, visiting the dentist, keeping active etc. our body thanks us for it. Sometimes stress is inevitable, but the better we are equipped to deal with it physically, the less damaging it can be mentally.
Build a support network
Make sure you build up a team of people who can help you to manage your stress. Friends, family, colleagues – everyone can relate to stress on some level, and building up a network of people you trust is a good way to reduce it. Whether you choose to open up and talk to them, or you nominate a workout buddy, a solid network is essential!
Fuel your body right
When we’re stressed, the body produces and releases cortisol, aka the stress hormone. Annoyingly, cortisol can cause you to overeat – and you’re most likely to see the results of this as weight gain around the middle. Not only can it cause overeating, you’ll end up craving fatty, sugary foods. Making sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet is vital if you’re dealing with stress, especially if you’re looking to keep health issues at bay.
Reward your achievements
If you’ve been taking steps to combat stress through exercise, a healthy diet, and by keeping on top of your physical health, then you should reward yourself for these achievements. You might choose to take time out and book a holiday, or you might choose to get the family together for an afternoon out at the cinema. Or maybe you’d prefer to make use of the spa facilities at your gym and treat yourself to a pamper session.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? What if I told you that you could easily integrate these tips for stress release and health living into your daily life with no disruption? With their new rewards programme, Vitality helps you to stay fit and active, and gives you and your family rewards when you do. So, really, it’s a win-win! You can cut down on your stress levels, look after your mind and body, and reap the rewards of doing so.
Get your exercise in with 50% off gym memberships, and receive an Apple Watch Series 3 GPS for just £29! With Vitality, you’ll benefit from up to 25% off Ocado, making it easier for you and your family to eat healthily, and you’ll also be able to spend more time together thanks to perks like weekly cinema tickets, discounted British Airways flights and more.
If you’d like to learn more, get in touch on 01252 931444 or drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org