Improving Your Mindset and Health with Mind High Club
Stress Management Strategies for Improving your mindset & health
Staying optimistic during times of uncertainty can be tough. As we adapt to remote working situations, disruptions to our daily routines and increased financial concern, it’s important to acknowledge and understand how to deal with stress.
To help contend with the changing challenges presented by COVID-19, JustCo Australia recently caught up with experts from Mind High Club to discuss stress management strategies and tips for boosting your overall health.
What is stress and what impact does stress have on the brain?
Stress is a complex hormonal response that can cause a myriad of complications to the brain. When triggered in small doses, our primary stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline can increase accuracy, focus and concentration. However, too much stress can be detrimental to cognitive performance causing brain inflammation and prohibiting the creation of new neurons integral to managing your body’s central nervous system.
Neuroscientist Coach, Shelley Laslett explains that despite the potential harmful effects, it’s how we choose to manage and view our stress that determines whether it’ll fuel productivity or drive us into a state of disruption and paranoia. This is why it’s so important to recognise symptoms of stress and take the time to implement strategies to prevent its adverse effects on the brain.
Practical Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety
Get a good night’s sleep. Experts confirm that getting a full 8-10 hours of sleep every night is one of the most simple and effective strategies for naturally decreasing anxiety.
Move your body. Exercise produces a bunch of happy hormones like dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin which all naturally combat stress cortisol while utilising adrenalin positively. There’s never been a better time to sign up for that virtual workout or take the dog for a walk!
Be mindful of what you’re listening to, watching, reading and believing. Our perception of events shapes our experience and reactions to them. If we’re only engaging with negative content, our interactions and energy will reflect this.
Meditate. Meditation is clinically proven to be one of the most profound and effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, increase your energy and lift your mood. Cassie Cameron, a meditation expert specialising in Psych-K®, explains that this technique is ideal for those new to meditation. Psych-K® focuses on changing habitual negative beliefs and behaviours rapidly and permanently, using muscle-testing to communicate directly with the subconscious mind. Learn more about Psych-K® and how to meditate with Cassie Cameron here.
Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine triggers the release of adrenalin which can amplify feelings of stress and anxiety, especially while we’re stuck at home. Consider switching your morning coffee for a dandelion tea (it tastes like coffee!) or a calming herbal tea such as lavender or chamomile.
Create phone boundaries. Try not to check your phone for the first hour when you wake or an hour before you go to bed. Our mobiles contain blue lights that impact the production of melatonin, our natural sleep assistant.
Eat well. Food is the foundation of our health. The vitamins and nutrients derived from food are used to support every major function in our body, including building a strong immune system.
What should we be eating right now?
- Lots of colourful, fresh fruit and vegetables will help your body naturally fight off infections and build resilience ahead of the looming flu season.
- Garlic is full of allicin which has been found to reduce inflammation and offer antioxidant benefits.
- Bone broth is rich in nutrients and helps to support the digestive tract.
- Home-made soups, broths and stews are an easy way to pack lots of veggies into one meal.
- Ginger supports good digestion and possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that help settle the stomach and reduce nausea.
- Vitamin C rich foods like the Australian Kakadu plum, kiwi fruit, guava and broccoli are all antioxidant rich and ideal immune boosters
Learn more about this article’s contributors:
Shelley Laslett, Neuroscientist Coach, here
Ema Taylor, Naturopath and Nutritionist, here
Cassie Cameron, Psych-K Facilitator and Meditation Teacher, here