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Reducing your stress levels will help the body fight off any infections.
Stress can suppress the immune system and make you more vulnerable to infection, according to experts, by affecting your body's ability to create white blood cells.
Dr Jenna Macciochi, one of the UK's leading immunologists, advised: "It’s important to try and reduce as much as you can through breathing techniques or just taking a moment to have a good cuppa."
Wellbeing coach Charlotte Dorman spoke to Healthista about her top nine tips on being less stressed, featuring five easy lifestyle changes and four supplements and vitamins to take.
1. Avoid the booze
You might feel like dancing around to Madonna after a few glasses of wine, but the next day you’re most likely going to feel a bit bad mood wise and thanks to your blood sugar dropping post booze, you’re going to most likely want to chomp through tons of biscuits.
Unfortunately drinking alcohol will not help you stay strong mentally or physically as alcohol and sugar (there is a lot of sugar in wine) depress our immune system, as well as playing havoc with our happy brain chemicals like serotonin.
2. Do some exercise every day
Try to do some exercise to boost mood and circulation each day by creating a mini routine and find something fun that keeps you fit and active that makes you feel better.
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3. Read and write more
Write, read and keep focused on anything that makes you positive.
Get some books out that you have been meaning to read for ages. Learn as much as you can – there is so much free information out there to help you study and grow through personal development.
Maybe there is a book you have wanted to write yourself? Now could be the perfect time.
4. Feel grateful
Practice gratitude. Despite this being one of the most testing times in history, many studies I have read over the years prove that giving thanks/practicing gratitude for everyday simple things we often take for granted.
This can be things such as sleeping in a warm comfy bed, plenty of hot water to make tea, books to read, the ability to be able to read, or having friends and family that love us.
Just spending a few moments each day to acknowledge these things and feeling a sense of love and gratitude for them are shown to support mental wellbeing.
5. Take a deep breath
It seems obvious that breathing is just something we do, but most of us don’t use the breath as a way of controlling our inner peace.
Before you eat a meal, focus on doing some deep belly breathing to help reduce anxiety and stress.
Try to use your inner breathing as a way of controlling the fire (anxiety and stress) just holding your tummy and breathing slowing and deeply into it throughout the day will help you to feel more peaceful and helps keep our body in a more alkaline state – which is better for your immune health.
What supplements should I take?
I am a big fan of natural supplements and using them a great deal as a way of helping me cope when navigating through very choppy periods of my life.
Be that getting out of an unhealthy relationship, healing through heartache, or just super stressful times in my career when I felt overwhelmed and unable to emotionally deal with the pressure.
Here’s my personal list of my top five natural stress busters:
One of the most popular stress busters right now is CBD thanks to its calming benefits and for me an absolute godsend to keep my mind and body serene when going through a wave of stress and anxiety.
I add a few drops of this to my morning matcha or coffee, and always have on hand if I am craving a sugary binge, or a glass of wine post-work to easy anxiety.
As I am 100 per cent teetotal right now, due to the fact that I want to be as mentally and physically strong as possible during this time, I have found CBD in a soft drink (cue making your own CBD infused mocktail) is going to be my evening treat in place of any alcoholic drink.
My ultimate stress-busting herbal hero is ashwagandha.
This adaptogenic plant helps nourish the adrenal glands, reduce cortisol and support our hormonal wellbeing. It’s an excellent health tonic for those that tend to run on adrenaline throughout the day and struggle with poor health after periods of stress.
For me ashwagandha is a herb I take to help me sleep better as it lowers cortisol that can often make us wake up all through the night, worrying about everything when you would rather be asleep.
We have heard this many times before and I don’t think there are many people left that haven’t heard about the wonders of magnesium for helping our bodies deal with stress.
Having a bath with magnesium (or soaking your feet in it if you don’t have a bath) soothes tired aching muscles and helps us feel more rested and calm and sleep a lot better.
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4. Flower essences
Just like many other medicinal plants on this planet, flowers are not there just to look pretty, they also have incredibly healing properties, specifically effective at supporting us through an emotional shift.
I find incredible benefits in using them in sprays (can be used directly on the skin or in a room), body creams (can be applied externally to any area of the body) and drops (in water or directly under the tongue) to help my mind and body stay more peaceful and resilient when dealing with what life throws at us.
I use calm and clear drops in my water or straight under my tongue when I feel overwhelmed. It helps you feel more grounded and calm and able to take on challenges with a more optimistic frame of mind.
This article first appeared on Healthista
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