For Immediate Release
I am offering free access to my new on-line Stress Management course for journalistic review, the course lasts 8 weeks, but only requires about half an hour of your time each day. To access the course please email me for the username & password. If you would like to interview me about the course via Skype, please let me know.
Let’s get stress out!
There are some alarming statistics about stress out there, but there are some simple things we can do to reduce our stress levels. Below is my article of my top 5 tips for coping with stress to celebrate the launch of my new 8 week on-line Stress Management for a Modern World programme.
I am Alexandra Redmond, a 43 year old Hatha yoga & meditation teacher originally from the Isle of Wight in the UK, I moved abroad to the beautiful area of Ogliastra in Sardinia, Italy in 2010. I have been practising yoga and various types of meditation for about 15 years, and teaching for 4 years. I have qualifications in Yoga Teaching and Zen Meditation. I now teach yoga and meditation to small groups of people within the local villages, trying to empower people with teachings of acceptance, compassion and emotional well-being.
Ogliastra, Sardinia, is a place of awesome natural beauty, boasting not only beautiful beaches with soft white sand and transparent, turquoise seas, but also places of profound peace and tranquillity, like the ancient Nuraghe ruins found nestling within its hills and mountains. It has a mostly rural community of some of the most welcoming and hospitable people you could care to meet, it took us 6 months before we were allowed to pay for a drink at our local bar/coffee shop! Its people still retain an amazing sense of community that unfortunately is not seen much these days in our modern society, the youth here still take an interest in the ancient traditions and customs. It has given me a new perspective on the true meaning of existence and inspired me to help others gain perspective and live a fuller, happier life.
I am thrilled to be releasing a new 8 week on-line programme Stress Management for a Modern World .It is launching on the 20th January 2014 to coincide with Blue Monday, thought to be the most depressing day of the year. There will be another course also staring on the 18th March 2014.
With stress levels on the rise every year and costs to industry and health services mounting up, and as someone with personal experience of how stress can cripple your work and personal life, I am sharing the tools I have used to feel better, get a perspective and live a more positive life.
People can register on-line for the course, and there are also free places available to people who cannot afford to pay the full subscription (usual price is 150 euros). My goal is to provide as many people as possible with the tools to manage their stress and improve their lives and in the process also to be healthier and happier.
Top 5 Tips for Coping with Stress
Stress is on the rise, more people each year are reporting stress as being a problem in their life: effecting their work, home life and health. After years of depression, stress and barely keeping my head above water with our modern, frantic pace of life, I finally broke down, and after a couple of months off work with stress I finally quit. It was time to get out, heal myself and get some perspective. So that’s what I did, I checked out of society, and in 2010 I moved to rural Sardinia with my retired partner and took some time to heal. It was pretty drastic and most people can’t or don’t want to go quite that far! So, rather than suggesting you quit your job, abandon society and move to a foreign country, I would instead like to share some of the simple things you can do to manage your own stress, some of the practices that have really helped me to learn how to deal with stress, get a different perspective on life and feel healthier, happier & more positive.
Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Take a deep breath
Our breathing is possibly the cheapest, easiest and most effective way of controlling our central nervous system and getting our body to calm down. By learning very simple breathing exercises we can tell our bodies to chill out, relax and calm down! Breathing more deeply and extending our exhalation (out breath) makes our body stop producing those nasty, unhealthy stress hormones and start producing those nice relaxing hormones instead. Ok so that’s a bit of a super simplified explanation of the sympathetic (fight, flight response) and parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system, but you get the idea! There is a guided breathing practice here which you can try out for free.
2. Count to 10
It’s a another of those cliché’s, but giving yourself time to pause, reflect and acknowledge what is going on before reacting, can make all the difference. Learning how to observe how you are reacting, both
- emotionally; how you are feeling and why, and
- physically; how this reaction or emotion feels in the body,
can give you some perspective and allow you to make more positive, calmer choices when you respond to stress. By learning to recognise why we respond in certain ways, by learning our own behaviour patterns, we can choose a different path and learn to respond in a way that is more beneficial to us emotionally and physically.
3. Eat away your stress
So I’m not suggesting we get out the ice cream and chocolate and start bingeing here; I’m talking about choosing what we eat to manage our stress! Certain foods can help us to be less stressed and promote a sense of calm.
- Foods high in Magnesium, like Spinach & Quinoa promote a sense of calm.
- Foods high in Omega 3, like walnuts, nourish the brain helping you think more clearly, and reduce stress hormones.
- Foods containing tryptophan, like sunflower seeds, soy & spirulina, cause the production of serotonin; that feel good hormone.
- Foods containing vitamin C, like kiwi, kale and guava, reduce stress levels and boost your immune system.
And guess what, certain foods can cause our nasty stress hormone, Cortisol, levels to rise, and guess what they are: yup, anything packed with fat, sugar or salt; so avoid cakes, chips and crisps!
4. Sleep more
Try to get more sleep, go to bed a bit earlier than usual. It’s another one of those vicious circles, you’re stressed out, can’t get to sleep so you sleep less. And in turn, less sleep lowers your immunity, makes you irritable and reduces your ability to cope causing you more angst and anxiety. So how do you break this cycle? Here are a few tips to get more sleep:
- Switch off the TV & computer at least half an hour before you go to bed: use this time to have a relaxing bath or listen to some calming music.
- Do some very gentle yoga or Tai Chi to help calm your body and mind.
- Listen to a guided body relaxation, there is one included in my online Stress Management course.
- Do some long, slow, deep breathing and become completely involved in the process of breathing, how it feels, the movements of the body, the flow of air at the lips, nostrils of the back of the throat. You can also count your breaths, counting backwards from 100 to 0 each time you inhale and exhale.
5. Learn some stress management tools
Finally, make some time to learn some tools that will help you to reduce your stress levels, help you to deal with any issues in your work or home life. Mindfulness based stress reductions techniques have been shown to reduce stress levels and to help us to be more peaceful and happy within ourselves, despite an increasingly overwhelming and demanding world.