Reduce your speed

Stress affects one in five of the working population, according to the Stress Management Society, a non-profit group. “Recent research shows that the body is designed to experience intense stress two or three times per month but we’re living like this all the time,” says founder Neil Shah. “It’s like asking a sprinter to maintain their pace for a marathon.”

To reduce your speed:

  • Be proactive: identify your “triggers” then work out what to do about them.
  • Eat “calming” foods: self-medicating with espresso, chocolate or whisky is a bad idea.
    Cut down on caffeine, sugar, nicotine and booze and eat foods rich in magnesium. Porridge with almonds for breakfast is a good source of magnesium, as are green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and pulses.
  • Exercise, but not too much: exercise can help reduce stress but pumping yourself too hard may do the opposite, raising levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • Laugh: laughter activates your body’s stress response, then quickly cools it down, leaving you relaxed and full of endorphins.
  • Involve your subconscious: “Focus on the results you want, instead of on what is stressing you,” says Shah


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