THE WEDDING EXPO

Old Mutual

get happy

Stop stress from creeping into your wedding plans with these 10 simple tricks

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1. Stand tall
Slouching negatively affects your confidence. Sit and stand up straight with your shoulders back and stomach pulled in – you’ll immediately feel more confident and less stressed.

2. Get moving
Exercise regularly: it boosts brain power, gives you more energy, increases your performance, speeds up metabolism and releases feel-good endorphins. Stress, busted! Find a form of exercise you enjoy. If you like dancing, try Zumba; if you enjoy being outdoors, take up running or cycling; if you want to punch out your frustration, go for boxing. Whatever it is, make sure it’s fun – that way you will keep going back to it and you’ll get your stress under control.

3. Soak it away
Most people will instinctively sigh with relief as they get into the bath. Being horizontal takes pressure off your muscles, while the warm water encourages your muscles to soften and release lactic acid. Boost your bath time by adding bath salts, bubbles or drops of essential oil.

4. Sniff calming scents
When it comes to lavender’s claims of soothing body and mind, even science gives it the nod. If you don’t have easy access to fresh lavender, try burning some essential oils or get some lavender room spray.

5. Think positively
Yes, really! A good mindset can help you achieve your goals. If you practise positive thoughts and visualisations, you’ll be more likely to complete what you set out to achieve. Put it into action: if you find yourself in a stressful situation, repeat a positive mantra like “I am calm and capable”.

6. Prioritise
Most of the time our stress is caused by having too much to do in too little time. Proper time management can help you achieve your goals in a more controlled manner. Break up your tasks throughout the day and try to stick to this schedule. Don’t take on extra projects or chores if you don’t have the capacity. Remember that life happens and that there is only so much we can control – being flexible will allow you to remain calm even if there is a change in your plan.

7. Sigh away
The way that we breathe is reflective of our current state of mind – so if we are in a chronic state of stress our breaths will be shallow or jagged, which will exacerbate the feeling of stress. By taking a big sigh and allowing the jaw to soften and shoulders to relax in the process, powerful signals are sent to the brain that you are out of danger and your body immediately goes into relax mode.

8. Create happy time
Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you love. It can be reading a book, watching your favourite TV programme, painting, relaxing over a cup of tea or coffee, baking… Whatever it is, set aside dedicated, de-stressing happy time each day.

9. Laugh it off
Remember the old adage, “laughter is the best medicine”? It’s true! A good laugh can reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body, improve blood flow and boost the immune system. It’s energising and makes us look happy too! Go meet your bridesmaids for a fun, off-duty catch-up, watch a live comedy show, indulge in a movie marathon night – anything that will be filled with laughter!

10. Celebrate the sun
Just 15 minutes a day in the sun is enough to boost your levels of vitamin D (the happiness vitamin). If you can’t get outside, try to sit near a large open window and let in as much natural light as you can to help boost your mood.

A good mindset can help you achieve your goals.

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