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STRESS PART 2: Unwind Your Mind! Stress-Busting Strategies Without Pills

Unwind your mind! Stress busting strategies without pills

Life can be a rollercoaster, but that doesn’t mean you have to ride it with a perpetual knot in your stomach. Let’s explore some stress-busting strategies that don’t involve reaching for the pills.

Deep Breathing

Take a moment to inhale the good vibes and exhale the bad ones. Deep breathing is like a mini-vacation for your brain. Inhale tranquility, exhale stress. Repeat as needed. You could also try box breathing: Breathe deep into your belly, (so your belly button is sticking out) for 4 seconds. hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds then hold for 4 seconds. Repeat as many cycles as you need to feel better. This breathing technique signals your parasympathetic nervous system to calm the body down, decreasing the stress response. Do this for a minute or two and feel the difference!

Practice saying NO

Our stress level is like a stack of pancakes, and every extra commitment is another pancake on top. Eventually the stack collapses. Learn to say “no” to additional ‘pancakes’ on your stress pile. Your body and mind will thank you.

Empty your head

Many of us try to keep too many thoughts and things to do and remember in our heads. Get them out of your head by writing them down. You might use your phone or a notebook. You can categorise the thoughts later into things to do, reminders, etc.

Get off your phone

It sometimes seems like our smartphone is surgically attached! Give your thumbs a break and unplug from the digital world, even if it’s just for a short while. Your mental health deserves a vacation too.

Get outside in nature

Exercise is a good stress buster, walking in nature can be a form of meditation as well as gentle exercise, however not everyone can take time out to go for a walk. While we are supposed to exercise for 200 minutes a week, any exercise is better than none. Get up out of your chair a few times, do laps of your coffee table during the ad breaks, do a few star jumps if you are fit for it, all of this helps!

Find something to laugh at

Whether it’s funny cat videos or a good comedian, laughter sets off a cascade of feel good hormones in your body. Even laughing at nothing or forcing yourself to laugh can have a similar effect, although you do feel like a bit of an idiot! Laughter really is the best medicine, and it comes with zero side effects.

Learn to meditate (no eye rolling please!)

Meditation is a key way to reduce stress, research shows that it can improve your physical and mental health and even lengthen your life! It takes practice (none of us can pick up a tennis racquet and play like Rafa-meditation is no different!) There are many apps available to guide you and I guarantee that you will notice a difference in your overall mood and outlook in less than 30 days. Try it just for 5 or 10 minutes a day and understand that your mind will not be still. Acknowledge the thoughts and let them go.

Cuddle your pet

Pets are like therapy on four legs. Spend some quality time with your furry friend. The unconditional love and the occasional tail wagging can be a magical stress antidote.

Prioritise your rest

The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. Create a bedtime ritual, get rid of blue light -use setting on your phone to change it to night time light, and try not to use your phone or watch TV in bed.

Remember, these are band aid measures to help with short term stress. If your stress is long term or overwhelming, please get help from a trusted friend or health professional.

If you think your workplace would appreciate more information about this important topic or any other health and wellbeing service we offer, please give me a call or send me an email, I’d love to help.



Sue Caloghiris is a qualified and registered Clinical Nutritionist with a passion for evidence – based Nutrition and Lifestyle medicine. She offers workshops for businesses, and health checks for employees looking to tweak a few things to feel better. She also offers comprehensive individual consultations and has a wide range of Practitioner only supplements available when necessary. She is based in Adelaide, but happy to travel anywhere she can be helpful!  To find out more or have a chat, visit or call 0416 867 400.

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