As a former all-star athlete, Dancing with the Stars finalist, Irelands Fittest Family coach, and bride-to-beAnna Geary knows what it's like to perform under pressure. Now, as part of her work with Zenflore, she is sharing her top tips for manage stress. 

1. Nourish your body
Ask yourself one very important question: do you want to survive or thrive?

Sleep - We need at least seven hours sleep to perform well in our lives, it aids concentration, decision making and coping with pressure.

Exercise - Regular exercise is proven to release endorphins which will help you to feel better in your
body and mind. Movement is so important for your body as it increases blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain too.

Food - Eat quality, unprocessed colourful food regularly. It will give you lasting energy. 

Water - Whatever your starting point is, aim to increase your water intake by 0.5 litres. That may be zero to half a litre for some or 1 litres to 1.5 litres for others. Hydration is just as important as the other three components above but it’s often overlooked.

2. Plan ahead
On Sunday evenings, take five minutes to look ahead and plan the week. Identify potential clashes
before they happen: be proactive, not reactive so you can come up with solutions when you have time to think them through.

  • Prioritise what you need to do
  • Align your goals to your daily/ weekly routine
  • Set yourself up for success by preparing well

Establish support structures: 

  • Talk to people if something is bothering you, no matter how small it seems, and confide in those
  • you trust.
  • Delegate work if you are under pressure. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to ask for help. 
  • People are there to help and remember a problem shared is a problem halved.

3. Be kinder to yourself
Sometimes you need to take a ‘time out’ unexpectedly. Cancel that arrangement/gym session/housework
and just take time for you. Remember, self-care is not selfish.

In order to be the best mother/ husband/ daughter/ work colleague/friend/teammate, you need to be the best version of ‘you’ first. 

Read a book, go for a walk in the fresh air, take a bath, meet a friend. Do what makes you happy,
even for two hours during the week. 

We all need to push the reset button every now and again. Don’t feel guilty about doing that.
It happens to everyone. 

4. Positive self talk 
Change your language: our default can be negative talk in our minds when we feel stressed or overwhelmed.
A situation can often become exaggerated in our heads when we think of all the things that may go wrong, instead of focusing on what can go right, or focusing on what we can control. 

Next time you're under pressure, evaluate your self-talk - if you wouldn’t talk to your friend that way, why would you say it to yourself? 

Our thoughts affect our emotions and our emotions frequently have an impact on our actions. Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.

5. Don’t compare yourself
"Comparison is the thief of joy". We often look at social media and see perfection everywhere and we can compare ourselves to that false reality.

Set your own goals and work towards them. Stay in your own lane.

Don’t worry about others, they are on a journey you know nothing about, with their own obstacles
and challenges. Don’t assume and don’t judge. It wastes precious energy.

Your chapter one is someone else’s chapter twenty. Remember that, and just focus on you.

Zenflore is the first commercial probiotic capsule with direct evidence of a positive influence on brain activity relating to the ability to cope with stress.