LifeStyle YOU expert and nautropath Emma Sutherland shares her secrets for staying calm and relaxed under pressure.
In our busy, information flooded work environments it can be all but impossible to remain calm and relaxed. But what if you had an edge, an insider’s secret on how to support your body physically and mentally so that you stay ahead of the game without losing your hair? Well, it IS possible so listen in!
Two Harvard researchers, Robert Yerkes and John Dobson, examined how to structure a working day in order to avoid burnout and stay productive.
When we focus and work hard our body gets stressed. This is a good thing as adrenaline and cortisol are released. This stimulates brain activity and improves performances. However, this only works up to a point. After prolonged exposure to these stress hormones we reach our “productivity peak”.
Following this peak the brain starts to become fatigued, we lose focus and the high levels of stress hormones make us less productive. An example of this is when a meeting has gone on for longer than anticipated and you find yourself day dreaming about what is for dinner.
Productivity research shows that when we arrive at this point (approximately 60-90 minutes of hard work) it is important to take a short break and relax. All you need to do is sit and relax for five minutes while focusing on breathing slowly and deeply then walk around the office.
Relaxing at the point of our “productivity peak” stops the production of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and produces nitric oxide instead which stimulates the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins. These chemicals make us feel better and improve our mental clarity and ability to focus
Ever noticed that when you’re tired and run down you’re also more likely to get sick? It’s no coincidence! Stress lowers your immunity, and increases your susceptibility to respiratory tract infections like colds and flu. On the flip side, taking steps to help your body and mind cope with stress may help boost your resistance at the same time.
Feeling fatigued, tense and irritable are classic signs that you’re suffering from stress which can cause headaches, interfere with your sleeping patterns and lead to digestive difficulties. So, if you’ve been feeling under pressure for a while, now is the perfect time to start getting a better handle on your stress levels.
Where possible, eliminate stressful or nagging issues from your life. Even if nothing can be done to change a difficult situation, you may be able to learn to cope better using tools like meditation, yoga and regular exercise. Thompsons High Potency Extra B+C Tablets help to provide much needed energy to your body and the vitamin C supports a strong immune system.
Pay particular attention to your diet, including a wide variety of nutritious fruit and vegetables and other immunity-boosting foods and steering clear of nutrient-poor junk foods.
Taking the herb Rhodiola will help too. In Russia and other parts of its native northern Europe, Rhodiola has traditionally been used to treat upper respiratory tract infections like colds and flu.
It is also used in traditional herbal medicine to maintain physical and mental performance. It supports the body’s natural defences against emotional and environmental stressors, enhances mental clarity, and promotes physical endurance.
In a nutshell, Rhodiola may increase your energy levels, help you cope better under stress, and support your immunity against winter infections – all at the same time! Rhodiola is often taken with B group vitamins, which support energy production and are essential for the healthy function of the nervous system, providing relief from stress, tension and mild anxiety. Try taking Thompson’s B Energised with Rhodiola twice a day to provide support during times of fatigue and declining work concentration.
The herb Siberian ginseng is also used to support both immune function and energy levels, and like Rhodiola, is regarded by herbalists as being particularly beneficial during times when you’re under more pressure than usual. From a nutritional perspective, magnesium supports the healthy functioning of the nervous system, but may become depleted by increased stress, poor dietary habits and the use of certain medications. Deficiency signs include muscle spasms, fatigue, irritability and poor concentration.
EMMA'S TOP 5 STRESS BUSTERS
As well as the natural medicines mentioned above, here are some handy solutions to help you deal with stress:
1) Take time out – we all need time to ourselves to help our body recover from stress.
2) Exercise – many studies suggest that regular exercise can help reduce stress levels.
3) Indulge in a massage, reflexology or some other blissful treatment. After all, you deserve it!
4) Use positive visualisation to help lower your stress response. Think of something that makes you feel stressed and visualise yourself in that situation feeling very calm and able to cope.
Vaporise some essential oils such as lavender, geranium and chamomile.
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