WHEN YOU’RE FEELING frazzled, our best advice is to just go for a run – hello, endorphins! – but we realise an injury, nasty weather, or a busy schedule can keep you from lacing up. So we asked a group of experts for simple, easy strategies that can instantly give you some zen. Steal these tips the next time you feel stress sneaking up on you.
Take a Deep Breath / There’s a reason this advice is given so often: it works. Conscious, deep breathing engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn slows your heart rate, according to Dr Henry Emmons, author of The Chemistry of Calm. To make it most effective, exhale twice as long as you inhale.
Eat Some Protein / When your blood sugar gets low, your body responds by releasing stress hormones in an effort to get you back into balance. Cue the blood sugar surge, and even more stress. Stay on an even keel by eating regularly, and pay particular attention to including protein at every meal, since that can keep blood sugar steadier, advises dietician Vanessa Rissetto.
Read a Book / Even a few minutes of reading can lower stress levels and heart rate, according to one study. Participants who read for as little as six minutes reduced stress levels by 68 per cent.
Put Your Hand on Your Heart / Don’t reserve this super-valuable tactic for national anthems and yoga class. This is a