Work hours are getting longer, the weekly supermarket shop is getting more expensive, and if that isn’t enough, you haven’t had a decent payrise in years. Little wonder we’re all stressed these days, and London’s fast-paced way of life doesn’t help. But high levels of anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your health, so it’s time to turn distress into de-stress.
Laughter network, free-£5
Laughter really is the best medicine. It can boost your immune system and release endorphins which reduce stress and anxiety. Encouraging people to get the giggles to combat stress is the Laughter Network. They run regular laughter clubs, laughter meditations and laughter yoga sessions in a variety of locations all over London. Their sessions usually last between 30 minutes to two hours. Whichever form of therapy you choose, you’re bound to come out smiling.
Mindfulness, masterclass £85
“Mindfulness” has become a health buzzword in recent years. It is a technique that allows you to become aware of emotions, how to observe them and make changes where necessary. Once learnt, it can be incorporated into everyday life to cope with stress, pain and anxiety. The College of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, in Baker Street, holds regular masterclasses. Their next one-dayer is on October 22.
Power Vinyasa, £80 for private lesson
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga was made popular in the early Noughties by Shri K Pattabhi Jois who refined ancient techniques for modern day stressheads. Now Mark Anthony’s gym in Notting Hill offers a further twist on the discipline with its signature Power Vinyasa Yoga, which aims to invigorate and bring increased flexibility to your body. An hour- long class promises to improve wellbeing by nixing stress while elongating all those tight muscles and making you super flexible.
Breathing meditation, from £25
Meditation doesn’t have to be about burning joss sticks and chanting “om”. It can be as simple as focusing on your breathing and allowing you to block out the manic world around you. Meditate London aims to help attendees concentrate on the sensation of breathing “to the exclusion of everything else” and it also runs half-day workshops. Once you’ve mastered the technique you can take a chill pill – figuratively speaking – anytime, anyplace.
Holistic management, £350 bespoke
It’s all very well taking a few yoga classes to cope with a busy lifestyle but some anxiety addicts may need to look at overhauling their whole lives to bring down stress levels. Chi Moves in London offer a four-part course designed to help people to focus on factors in their lives which are causing stress and to develop coping strategies. Attendees are encouraged to look at physical fitness, diet, work life balance, energy management and self-development.