With the demands and challenges of everyday life often pulling us in all manner of different directions, it’s important that you do everything within your power to lead a stress-free lifestyle.

But, the good news is that you can reduce stress by taking the appropriate steps to minimise and avoid the things in your life that cause you to lose your cool.

After all, it’s only natural that at some point in your life you’re likely to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or worried. If you’re facing new challenges and periods of uncertainly at home or at work, feeling stressed can have a huge impact on both your physical and mental health.

With this in mind, it’s super important that you can recognise the symptoms of stress and understand how to alleviate them before they take hold and cause lasting damage.

how to prevent stress

What are the most common symptoms of stress?

  • Low energy levels
  • Frequent headaches
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • An upset stomach
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections that last for prolonged periods of time
  • Loss of sexual desire or abilit

How to minimise the impact of stress

The key to a happy and positive lifestyle is to identify the things that cause you stress, so you can avoid or address them. But first, you must be able to recognise when you are stressed.

A great way to monitor your stress levels is to record the situations where you find yourself feeling under pressure, stressed, or overwhelmed. You will then be able to identify ways to deal with those situations if you find yourself in them again.

There are lots of effective ways you can help minimise the symptoms of stress including:

  • Positive thinking - The key to living a happy and positive life is to not dwell on the past. It can’t be changed, but you can control your future.
  • Look after your physical health – It’s a proven fact that a healthy body is able to cope with the negative symptoms of stress far more than someone who is unhealthy. And, ensuring you get enough exercise is one of the best ways to tackle many stress-related conditions, as physical activity increases self-esteem and improves muscle control.
  • Learn to relax – When you’re managing the demands that come hand in hand with work and home, it’s easy to see why so many people become overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. And, although sometimes it might seem as though there are not enough hours in the day, it’s vital that you learn to relax your body and mind, as this will instantly reduce your stress levels.
  • Time Management – Managing your time is key to reducing the uncertainty that sometimes comes hand in hand with feeling like you don’t have enough hours in the day.

If your stress levels have reached an all-time high, or you’re struggling to manage the stresses in your life, you’re in the right place. We’ve spoken to four experts who have taken the time to share their top tips on how you can live a stress-free lifestyle.

how to reduce stress

Life coach and writer, Caroline Johnstone of Dare to be Happier says:

Our wellbeing comes from what we think, feel and do. Too often, we fail to make conscious choices in each area, and that can quickly lead to us feeling stressed - so think on these questions:

  • What are you doing that you really don't need to do, perhaps because it's always been done that way?
  • What can you stop doing altogether?
  • If you were being honest, what takes you too long to do?
  • Are you able to set appropriate boundaries - and say no?
  • When was the last time you looked at your must-do lists?
  • Are you trying to keep everyone else happy?
  • Are you just focusing on negatives, and have forgotten to practice gratitude for good things?

What you think and do is what matters - so what do you need to think, feel or do to create a more balanced and happier life? Deal with the root cause of any stress, even if that means making big changes. You will handle what comes your way.

Set your intentions for the day ahead to go well, simplify your life, use affirmations that help change neural pathways so you know you can be calm, practice mindfulness so your mind stays in the present (to reduce anxiety and worry) and find ways to relax that nourish you, not numb you. That's not likely to be mindless TV or social media.  Try time in nature, exercise, listening to music or watching something uplifting, or a relaxing bath with a beautiful candle. 

Life coach and mental health mentor, Sue Curr, explains why organisation is key!

When we get to the stage where we are stressed out, we usually find that two things are lacking. Organisation and 'me time'! If this sounds familiar, it's time to take positive action and reclaim your life.

how to reduce stress

Start by planning your day the night before, lay your clothes out, check your calendar and prioritise it, make sure any family commitments are also taken care of and then give yourself permission to be HUMAN - even if it's only 15 minutes. Promise yourself that no matter what tomorrow brings, that you will gift yourself the commitment of your time to spend both with and for yourself. A walk, a solitary coffee where you have time to think and refocus, maybe a swim or read a chapter of the book you keep meaning to finish... anything as long as it's for you.

Peter Dickinson from Kub Business Growth has this advice for business owners: 

Working with business owners, managing digital and technology projects and running two companies, it is hard to avoid the inevitable stress that comes with responsibility. To an extent, I enjoy the thrill and excitement that my work brings. My overall approach is to work towards a stress-free lifestyle and so am always looking for ways to move towards that goal.

For me, this means doing a range of outdoor sports that force you to think about what you are doing and therefore push aside anything else that may be a preoccupation. Keeping fit also plays a big part. So, to escape work and clear my mind I sail, kayak and ski. To keep me in a positive mindset I do High Intense Interval Training (HIIT) on a road bike fitted to a turbo trainer and swim at the local gym. HIIT every 2-3 days also helps with weight management and overall health.

how to reduce stress

According to personal development mentor and intuitive Georgina Lester:

The ultimate stress-free life would be to live in alignment with our life-purpose and do what we are designed to do, preferably with a great deal of fun and laughter. We might need to adopt a few short-term tactics to help us get there.

Anything that can be implemented anywhere at any time can make a big impact longer term.

So here goes...

Let it Go. A simple five-second meditation - deep breath in and let it all go as you breathe out.

NOW! Slow down. Be present.  

Seduce the senses. Essential oils, delicious foods and delicious drinks that you love all impact your wellbeing positively.

Stop! Do Nothing! Like really NOTHING! Allow your brain to do what it does best - find solutions. So, get out of its way.

Gratitude! Find something for which you can really feel grateful.

Laugh! Always find someone to laugh with.

Hugs reduce cortisol and increase oxytocin. What’s not to like?

So, there you have it, some top expert tips to lead a happy, healthy and most importantly, stress-free life!

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