By Cherise Evertz


Stress can affect us all, no matter what stage of life we’re in. Whether you’re a working mum or you’re heading towards retirement, stress is something that is inevitable and can happen on a daily basis. Some people work in stressful conditions, making the task of avoiding stress quite impossible. 

Stress can have a negative effect on our health. It may not seem like it at first instance, but over time, stress can lead to other health issues that could have otherwise been avoided. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your daily stress levels, there are a number of things you can do right away to help lower your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and start to feel more relaxed.


You don’t have to breathe into a paper bag to start to feel better. Sometimes that can even make you feel slightly worse. Instead, opt for some slow, deep breaths. 

When we’re stressed or anxious, it’s quite normal for our breath to become more shallow and limited to our chest. Instead, you need to slow down your breathing and move your breathing down to your belly.

How do you achieve this? The easiest way to ensure you’re breathing down in your diaphragm is by placing your hands onto your stomach. Some people even go so far as to place a book on their stomach to watch it rise and fall as they breathe. Take deep, slow breaths down into your stomach and allow your stomach to raise your hands up and down. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds and then breathe out for four seconds. This method is sometimes referred to as “box breathing” can help to reduce your stress and anxiety levels quite fast. 

Grounding Techniques

Often when we’re stressed, we’ll feel overwhelmed by anything and everything around us. Sometimes, we just need to step back and get grounded for a minute. There are a few ways to do this, but one of the most popular ways to do so is the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique. This technique is quite beneficial as it incorporates all of the five senses to help ground you when you’re feeling stressed.

First, acknowledge five things around you. It could be your computer on your desk, a pen, a child’s toy or anything in your immediate surroundings. If you’re in a car, look at things you’re driving past or items in your car.

Next, find four things you can touch. Depending on your location, it could be as simple as the seat you’re sitting on, the pet that’s snuggled beside you or paperwork on your desk. 

For your third step, find three things you can hear. Can you hear coworkers in the room with you? Typing on keyboards? Children playing outside? Listen to three things that you can hear right now.

Next, look for two things you can smell. It can be something very obvious like a cup of coffee or something subtle that you can’t quite smell like the way the air smells outside.

Lastly, acknowledge one thing you can taste. If there’s nothing nearby to taste, maybe think about the taste in your mouth. Is that breakfast smoothie lingering on your tongue? Maybe you can think of something you’d like to taste like a peppermint tea waiting to be made in your kitchen.

This technique is excellent for slowing your day down, grounding yourself when you’re stressed and helping you to focus on just one thing at a time. 

Have A Healthy Meal

It is so easy to feel stressed and then reach for the doughnuts in the staff room or order a pizza when you get home after work. But, high-fat, rich foods aren’t going to solve your stress problems. Eating unhealthily can lead to unwanted weight gain and a feeling of sluggishness (which certainly won’t make you want to take on your stress and troubles!).

Instead, choose a balanced meal that is nutritious and has the right vitamins and minerals to help you feel well. Look for lean proteins and plenty of vegetables and greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli. If you’re really in a rush, you can always opt for a smoothie made with vegetables or frozen berries. Adding in some vitamin supplementation into your smoothie can make it a powerful smoothie to help you feel your best!

When you’re feeling stressed, acknowledging your needs in order to reduce your stress levels is quite important. With the right tools, support and methods, you’ll be able to successfully manage your stress and be ready to take on anything that comes your way.

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