Tips to Reduce Daily Stress and Its Side Effects
Moderate stress for short periods can be a good thing and our body is engineered to manage short lived stress even when acute. After all, we survived as a species thanks to our speedy responses to stress that allowed us to overcome all sorts of very perilous situations. However, in modern life where we generally don’t have to worry about starvation and safety issues, we have managed to create an environment where we often live with high levels of stress that our body does not know how to handle.
Research show us that chronic stress can:
- Damage immunity
- Significantly increase waist circumference
- Raise insulin levels
- Wreak havoc in your adrenal glands that start flooding your system with adrenaline and cortisol, thus increasing your blood pressure and fat storage
Here are 6 things you can start doing tomorrow to significantly reduce your stress:
1) Exercise as often as you can
Interval training is the best natural and proven anti-stress method. It burns off stress chemicals while releasing happy hormones such as endorphins. It is also a great anti-depressant.
2) Stress can be real or perceived
Stress is a perception we create from the meaning we give to a threat, an event or an exchange. Sometimes, there is no room for interpretation, the stress is real and we have to do whatever it takes to survive. However, often stress is the result of our perception of a situation. For example, you might perceive that a friend or colleague is angry with you following a heated discussion, and you might stay stuck in that feeling which can create elevated levels of stress. Whether that perception is accurate or not, the biological answer to this stressor in your body is the same. What we don’t realize is that we have the power to chose the way we think and respond to our external environment. We could decide to let go of the perceived emotion and start feeling better.
3) Eat Clean Food and Reduce Stimulants
Eating whole organic food allows your body to deal better with stress by restoring hormonal and blood sugar balance and reducing the negative impact on your body. Reducing caffeine, alcohol and packaged foods also allows your body to cope better and faster with tension by making it more efficient.
4) Get the right stress fighting vitamins
Deficiencies in Vitamins B5, B12, magnesium and C play a significant role in fighting stress. As they are not stored in our body we need to get it daily through foods such as beans, avocado, big leafy green cruciferous, kiwi, papaya and bell peppers. You can also get them through the right supplementation of multivitamins.
5) Learn to breath
Breathing is life! It is the first thing new born babies do to start their journey. Yet, most of us stop breathing normally when we are anxious or stressed. Learning to breath deeply and calmly when tension arises is key to relaxing our nerves. Booking a massage, a spa or an acupuncture treatment are other very efficient ways to reduce stress and tension on our mind and body.
6) Don’t forget to sleep
Restorative sleep is a really good mechanism to cope with the multiple damages created by stress. Making sleep a priority can really help reduce stress. Creating a stress reducing evening ritual, such as a relaxing warm bath with essential oils, can also help decompress and promote good sleep.
By Safia Morsly