Mind & Spirit

5 steps to better manage your stress

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

5 steps to better manage your stress

Feeling frazzled at work? Harvard researchers have found that women with highly stressful jobs are 40 per cent more likely to develop heart disease than their less-stressed colleagues.

Manage work-related stress over your lunch hour with this five-point plan from Rosalie Moscoe, a Toronto-based registered holistic nutritionist and author of Frazzled Hurried Woman! (Create Space, 2011).

1. Go offline. To truly benefit from downtime, Moscoe says you should be prepared to disconnect from the workplace -- literally. Try to refrain from checking emails, texts or voice mails during lunch.

2. Grab a bite. Nourish your brain with foods such as fish, cheese or tofu, which contain amino acids that boost both memory and mood.

3. Have a gab. Socializing can prompt women's pituitary glands to release the hormone oxytocin, which produces a calming effect. Try to avoid high-stress topics.

4. Get physical.
To oxygenate your muscles and release tension, take a brisk walk around the block. According to Moscoe, even a 15-minute stroll has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

5. Breathe.
"Take a slow deep-belly breath, count to four and then exhale to the count of five," Moscoe says. Repeat this routine in one- or two-minute spurts throughout the day.

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This story was originally titled "Lunch Break Stress Busters" in the March 2012 issue.

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Mind & Spirit

5 steps to better manage your stress