Stress has become unavoidable given the kind of fast-paced lives most of us live. Whether you are dealing with a boss who keeps piling on the pressure or are in a relationship that is going through a rough patch, you are bound to feel stress at some point in your life.
Stress and chronic stress can hamper the quality of your life substantially. When under stress, stress hormones, adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol, increase in the body. Your eating habits suffer, you feel lethargic, your behavior changes and you open yourself up to all sorts of diseases down the line. The good news is that you can manage stress if you decide to be proactive about it. Some simple changes to your lifestyle, fitness and nutrition regimes can make an enormous difference in how your mind and body deals with stress.
Drink Plenty of Water
It’s easy to discount something as simple as drinking plenty of water every day, but the fact is that stress and hydration are closely linked together. Every organ in the body needs water to function properly. Dehydration makes your body tap into its reserves and stress hormone levels jump up.
Of course, drinking water won’t suddenly make all of your stress disappear. But staying hydrated is an important precursor to dealing with stress. The last thing you want is to follow every rule in the book, follow every relaxation technique in the world, but fail since your body is dehydrated.
Keep an Eye on What You Eat
Stress can throw your eating habits into disarray. You may lose your appetite or in some cases, you might start binge eating. This compounds the problem since unhealthy eating habits won’t make you feel any better. Your physical appearance might suffer and add to the stress.
The secret is to not give in to your cravings or lack of. Eating healthy and mindfully is the key to leading a stress-free life. Make a routine where you eat regularly and stick to it. Ensure that your diet is well-balanced. Incorporate foods with nutrients that are known to fight stress. Magnesium, vitamin B complex and vitamin C, have stress-reducing properties. Even carbohydrates are known to increase serotonin levels which help improve mood.
Make Exercise a Regular Part of Your Routine
Regular exercise can get rid of stress in more ways than one. This is not a statement that we are making lightly. There is a mountain of evidence backing this assertion. You need exercise to regulate the chemical environment of the brain, keep the synapses firing, making sure that your immunity system is working well. Exercise also leads to the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Have you ever felt a sense of accomplishment and success after a workout? That’s because of endorphins.
Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of stress is low-energy and lethargy. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning, how can you be expected to exercise regularly? Consider turning to fitness supplements like hemp and whey protein. Not only will these give your body a powerful boost of nutrition which is essential for a healthy diet, but they will give you the energy to get out of bed and exercise.
Learn to Relax
You can only truly get rid of stress through mindfulness. You need to learn how to relax, how to calm yourself down as soon as you feel you’re under stress. It’s all about realizing that you have a problem that only you have the answer to.
Sometimes something as simple as taking a deep breath can help. Learn to divert your attention. Keep yourself occupied so that your mind doesn’t linger on all the bad happening around you. Find yourself a hobby and keep yourself engaged. Any time you feel stressed, visualize a happy place and go to it.
Reduce Nicotine and Alcohol Usage
One of the major reasons behind stress is an unhealthy lifestyle. Smoking and alcohol consumption are the epitome of bad habits. Remarkably, most people turn to these poisons when under stress. It allows them to hide from their lives even if only for a short period.
What they don’t realize is that while they might be getting temporary respite, these habits will to lead to more stress in the long term. If you want to lead a stress-free life, nicotine and alcohol must go.
What steps will you take to lead a less stress life? Let us know in the comments below or @thinkproductive
By Katie Michaels
Katie is a digital content enthusiast and marine animal lover from Brighton. She enjoys rock concerts and fitness in her free time. You can reach her at [email protected]