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The daily habits that may be secretly raising your stress levels
Monday, 27 April · 2 min read

The ongoing pandemic is an understandable source of stress, but some of your daily habits may be secretly raising your stress levels further.

If you’d like to feel calmer, try removing or cutting down on these 3 things.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can provide an energy boost, but drinking too much of it can trigger the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. This can leave you feeling anxious and depressed.

Coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine in the average diet; the stimulant is also found in tea, cola, energy drinks and chocolate. This means that you’ll need to cut down on these foods and drinks if you want to reduce stress from caffeine.

Smoking

You may think that smoking helps you relax when you’re feeling tense, but it can also add to your stress. Nicotine can change your brain’s chemistry, increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and leave you feeling irritable and anxious.

If you’re interested in quitting but don’t know where to start, get advice from an online Stop Smoking Service.

Alcohol

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine or beer after a long day. However, too much alcohol can increase your stress levels.

Drinking more than the recommended 14 units of alcohol each week can affect the production of chemicals in your brain that help you manage stress.

To cut down on alcohol, limit yourself to a small glass at dinner instead of drinking throughout the evening.

Quote of the day

Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end. -- John Lennon

Make handwashing mindful

You may have come up with many ways to get you to 20 seconds while washing your hands -- singing songs, doing a dance or simply just counting.

But you could use this time as a moment to be mindful.

Learn how to wash your hands the mindful way in this video created by Headspace.