Stepping stones on the path to mental health [Part 2]

If you’re losing sleep thanks to anxiety or snacking on fatty foods to cope with stormy times, here are some top tips to help you manage your stress effectively and find your smile. 

The modern lifestyle you lead has its pros and cons. The pros pile up as you manage to get more done thanks to modern inventions and technology, like our phones and laptops. The gadgets are meant to bring us less stress in the long run–but this isn’t always the case. If we aren’t careful with how we use these tools, they can have a negative impact on our well-being; especially when it comes to the essentials, like sleep.

Everyone experiences stress. When we’re able to recognise the negative impact stress has on our body it becomes easier to stop it in its tracks and choose healthier options to a happier state of being.

Johann Huber, Head of Soma Analytics (a corporate wellness app) by Prenetics put together a series of uplifting videos, guiding us on the practical steps toward effective stress management. His easy-to-watch video-guides walk you through step-by-step practical ways on how to tackle the long-term health effects of unchecked stress. Getting on track to managing your stress is a click away.

Last week we learnt how to eat our frogs first and how stress is caused when our demands outweigh our resources. This week, we’re learning about short-term emergency situations and how to get a better night’s sleep.

How does stress impact your body?

Here Johann explores why stress has a negative impact on your body. Stress was created by nature to help us cope with very short term emergency situations. But, if we are exposed to those emergency situations for a long period it has a negative effect on our health.

In emergency situations, we need fatty food which serves as energy reserves. However, if we’re exposed to emergency situations for years and we eat fatty food for years this causes poor cardiovascular health. Other resulting factors is the disruption to your sleep cycle. Your body instinctively knows that in an emergency you shouldn’t sleep. This is why stress causes lack of sleep–which in turn isn’t helpful in recovering from stress. If accumulated over a long period of time this has tremendous negative effects on health.

Why does sleep matter?

Johann explains that there is a very important relationship between stress and sleep. Sleep gives us the ability to recover from stressful events. It’s important to our body to reset the chemical balance that’s created during the day.

Johann points out his five tips for better sleep hygiene and a better nights sleep:

  1. The bedroom is for sleep–Only use the bedroom for sleeping, nothing else.
  2. No eating in bed–Don’t eat in your bedroom, rather eat in the dining room.
  3. Watch your caffeine consumption–This depends on how you metabolise caffeine. You can discover this process by taking a DNA Test. Having coffee late in the afternoon can negatively impact your sleep.
  4. Check room temperature–Generally, we tend to have the bedroom temperature too warm. Johann suggests turning down the temperature for better sleep.
  5. No screens after 10pm–Try not to look into bright screens after 10pm, this means no TV or phone, as these screens can hinder happy sleep.

Thanks to Johann, we’re realising how recognising our strengths and weaknesses becomes the path to less stress. Adapting the best and worst in us to cope with the normal stresses of life is within our grasp. Tapping into our mental health status on a regular basis can help manage our stress levels so that we have more productive days and contribute positively to all aspects of our lives.

To happier healthier days ahead!

Let go of the stress that rules your day, take the next step to better mental health and download DNAfit’s Guide to Stress, Mindfulness & Meditation.

Download Guide

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