Life can be stressful. The responsibilities of self-employment, taking care of a small family, and trying to buy our first home all add up, and there has certainly never been a point in my life when I have been so aware of how I really feel. Stress is that universal feeling people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands, ranging from finances to work, relationships to ambitions. With 74% of the British public feeling overwhelmed or like we can’t cope in the past year, it seems a lot of us are in the same boat. Men in particular are a lot more reluctant to seek help with stress, and so it is even more important that we become more self-aware of this feeling and learn how we can manage the health of our minds. Let’s take a look at how I have improved my relationship with stress through both mental and physical measures…
Like any muscle, our brain needs exercise. However, we often over-exercise our brains and switching off can be hard to do, especially right before bedtime. Too many times in the past I would lie with my head on the pillow making a mental note of what I had to do the next day, week, or even the month… Make that list physical and permanent; you won’t need to worry about that to-do if it’s written in pen on paper. Treat your brain the same way during the day too; if you feel stressed and overwhelmed, just take a few seconds (or few minutes) to distance yourself from that initial reaction or emotion. Try to acknowledge or write down what it is that is causing the stress and, only then, will you be able to properly think about how to return to that more positive state of mind. Indeed, this is the basis of any meditation techniques; removing your conscious self from these harmful situations. I’m never going to be someone who can go and live in a Buddhist temple for weeks on end, but there are a plethora of apps and audiobooks out there that are a great introduction to creating that better state of mind.
There are also physical ways in which you can look to control stress. They say we are what we eat, and this does extend to our emotions too. The scientists at PrecisionBiotics have been looking at the science of the gut-brain axis, the connection between our brain and our gut where they communicate with each other. As someone who is fairly busy each day, it can become difficult to adhere to a balanced diet, and so I have started to use a product called Zenflore as a convenient way to give my gut (and my mind) that extra boost. With its the unique live cultures and specially selected B vitamins, Zenflore helps support my mind and body, improving mental performance and reducing the feeling of fatigue. Essentially it mimics and supplies the naturally occurring ‘good’ bacteria from the same part of the family of bacteria given by mother to baby at birth. It is one of the first cultures to have shown in a clinical study to increase the activity in the areas of your brain that are associated with emotions, learning and memory. If preparation is half of the battle, then this daily dose can only be good for the mind.
Stress doesn’t need to be stressful and it’s these small steps that help me keep my mind and body in check. Try a few of my tips next time life is getting on top of you, and if you want to give your body that boost, you can read more about Zenflore here.