NCI Blog

Top Tips for a Stress Free Life

Posted by Gerard McQuillan on 20 January 2016


Although college can be one of the best times of your life, it can also be a very stressful period with exams, assignments, additional responsibilities and the change in your routine. Fear not however! We’ve put together our top 3 tips for a stress free life.

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet:

Although it can be tempting to grab a bite to eat from your local takeaway when you’re busy and tired, studies have shown that the key to managing stress is all about maintaining a healthy diet. By simply cutting out foods such as coffee and chocolate from your diet and adding more fresh fruit and veg you can increase your chances of a stress free life.

In addition, cooking from scratch can prove to be very therapeutic, and being a dab hand in the kitchen isn’t the worst skill to have.

2. Exercise Regularly:

Exercising at least once a week is a great way to reduce stress levels. Essentially when we exercise our bodies produce endorphins, a natural chemical which makes us feel good. Even a simple 30 minute stroll can help reduce stress. However,  regular intense work-outs are best for maximum results.

In addition, joining a sports club or gym is a great way to get out of the house and meet new people - which in turn should help improve your mood.

3. Try the "4-7-8" Breathing Exercise:

According to science, the key to de-stressing is all about the breath. By simply applying the “4-7-8” breathing exercise, you can relax and unwind in less than 2 minutes. The “4-7-8”method sounds complicated but it's quite simple really. Begin by closing your mouth and inhaling through your nose for four seconds. The hold your breath for seven counts, before exhaling while counting to eight. Repeat this cycle three times and you’re sure to be relaxed.

Why does it work? Well when you inhale your sympathetic nervous system kicks in, which in turn boosts your heart rate and blood pressure. And when you exhale, you kick-start your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. So when you’re stressed, slowing down your breathing and focusing on the exhale sends your body into resting mode, which helps you to unwind.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed out, with exams, assignments or just life in general, give our tips a shot and let us know how you get on.

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Topics: Advice