12 ways to outsmart stress

Don’t let the stresses of modern life beat you. Take control of tense situations with little steps that’ll keep your mind focused on a positive mental attitude to help you cope calmly with hectic times ahead.

12 ways to outsmart stress
Stretch

Relieve the tension from your muscles with a good stretch. Gently roll your neck from side to side and if you’re in a private place let you head dangle between parted legs – the weight of it will stretch out your spine to feel more relaxed.

Listen to music

Create a playlist of calming or nostalgic music that take you back to a happy place and enhance your mood to better tackle a busy day ahead.

Recite positive affirmations

When your mind is overloaded with deadlines, family responsibilities and financial pressures zap negative thoughts and replace them with a positive affirmation. Tell yourself “I can do this.”

Stop

Take a minute out from dashing about to sit in a quiet place. Close your eyes and allow yourself a minute to regain focus.

Prioritise what matters

When we try to do everything at once we feel overwhelmed. Write a list of things in order of their importance and then methodically tick them off once completed.

Breathe

Learning to breathe deeply helps to create an emotional connection when coping with stress. Breathing in a calm, controlled and steady way brings your heartbeat down to reduce your anxiety level.

Meditate

If meditation is completely new to you, utilise an app or an online tutorial to guide you. You’ll be surprised how the process can wash you with calmness.

Exercise

Go for a brisk walk or even better run. Exercise helps to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone and increases the release of serotonin, which makes us feel great.

Phone a friend

Sharing our anxieties with our nearest and dearest is a quick way to instantly reduce stress levels whilst reminding us about what really matters.

Yoga

If the thought of a power work out alone breaks you out into a sweat, yoga is a better physical practice for your heart - and headspace.

Eat well

Food can affect your mood so kick-start the day with an energy smoothie. Include complex carbs for slow release energy, so a handful of oats is a good choice, antioxidant-packed berries like blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and baobab powder (available from health stores.)

Aromatherapy oils

Carry a roll on de-stress aromatherapy oil in your handbag and apply it over your pulse points whenever you feel dazed for comfort.