10 ways to beat stress

Stressed woman
Take control of your stress

Life getting too much for you? Things feel like they're spiralling out of control? Take a tip from the Stress Management Society to beat stress and get yourself back on an even keel.

1. Avoid tea and coffee

Nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar products are all stimulants, so will not calm you down. If you're stressed, steer clear of tea, coffee and cigarettes - keep yourself well-hydrated by drinking water instead or chamomile tea.

2. 'I can definitely deal with this'

Think up a self-affirming mantra to repeat to yourself (eg 'I deserve calm in my life', or 'I have a choice in every situation'). Repeat it to yourself whenever you feel tense.

3. Agree with others once in a while

Life should not be a constant battleground. , so even if you disagree with someone, avoid conflict every now and again by just agreeing or keeping quiet. They have a right to their opinion (even if they are wrong!), just as you do.

4. Listen to your body

When you are tired, hungry or thirsty, do something about it: rest, eat or drink.

5. Learn how to say 'no'

Simple, but effective. Where a 'no' is the appropriate response, say it without guilt.

6. Get organised

  • make a list of all the things that you need to do
  • list them in order of genuine importance
  • note what you need to do personally and what can be delegated
  • prioritise things that need doing immediately
  • demote tasks that can wait
  • you may find some tasks don't actually need doing at all

7. Get online

When stress strikes, take five and calm down if you can on a favourite website - shopping, a social networking portal, Zest.co.uk! Taking a short break gives you valuable cooling time and enables you to get back to the issue in hand with a fresh head.

8. And breathe it out...

Try this breathing exercise: Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to five in your head. Let the air out from your mouth, counting to eight in your head as it leaves your lungs. Repeat several times.

As you breathe, let your abdomen expand outward, rather than raising your shoulders. This is a more relaxed and natural way to breathe, and helps your lungs fill themselves more fully with fresh air.

Repeat a few times to release tension, or for several minutes as a form of meditation. If you like, make your throat a little tighter as you exhale so the air comes out like a whisper. This type of breathing is used in some forms of yoga and can add additional tension relief.

9. Acupressure

You have acupressure points either side of the bridge of your nose. Rub there gently, and around your eyes.

10. Face exercises

Relieve tension in the face by lifting your eyebrows, then drag your fingertips - pressing firmly - from your forehead to the back of your head.

Still feeling a bit stressy? You could always try the Rescue Remedy Rant Therapy support service for anyone who's feeling super-stressed, whatever the cause.

Here's how: Draft an email. Get it all down in an outpouring of anger and stress, saying exactly what you think, why it's unfair and what you think should happen. Now instead of sending it to the rightful recipient, send it to RescueRant@nelsons.net

Now your rant is out of your system and your inbox, sit back and wait for some very special advice from the Zen masters themselves. Oh, and a quick couple of sprays of Rescue Remedy itself too, of course.