Stress is everywhere in your life. Whether it’s from work, school, relationships, finances, or any other source, stress is inevitable. And the more stress you deal with, or the less you’re able to cope with it, the more adverse the effects will be on your health. If you learn how to effectively fight stress, it can lead to a longer, healthier, and happier life.
It’s not realistic to think you can eliminate all stress from your life, and that wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing anyway. At normal levels, stress can be a great source of creative problem solving and can teach you coping mechanisms.
Chronic stress, on the other hand, is simply bad for your health and can lead to immune system issues, heart disease, inflammation, and weight gain or weight loss – depending on how you tend to deal with stress. With a reported 75% of adults suffering from high-stress symptoms, it’s time for you to learn how to fight stress so you can reduce the negative effects on your health.
How can you fight stress? Well, there are several ways, and when you can’t fight the actual source of stress, you can at least find ways to help your body and mind fight the negative effects…
Your lifestyle can be a source of high stress, but it doesn’t have to be. You can modify your lifestyle to fight stress and help alleviate or reduce the negative effects. If work, school, family, or any other part of your life is causing excessive stress, it’s in your best interest to find ways to reduce or at least cope with the effects.
Just bottling up your stress internally doesn’t effectively deal with stress at all, and that method is the most likely to cause serious health problems down the road. Here are a few things you can do to help you cope:
- Wake up earlier to give yourself more time during the day
- Set reminders to take a few moments to yourself throughout the day
- Use breathing exercises and/or meditation whenever you feel stress building
- Make a daily routine that allows you to unwind at the end of the day, whether it’s reading, watching a show, hopping in a Jacuzzi, spending time with your family, or anything else that helps calm your mind and nerves
The foods you eat can have a significant effect on your stress levels, both negatively and positively. Here are just a few things to consider to help fight stress:
- Caffeine: This can be great if you need a mental, physical, or fat-burning boost, but excessive caffeine can amplify feelings of stress and anxiety, so adjust intake accordingly during times of high stress
- Alcohol: Be extra cautious with this, as many people find that a drink may seem to help calm their nerves, but alcohol isn’t something you want to rely on; the long-term risks outweigh the momentary relief
- Comfort food: On the plus side, your favorite foods can give you a sense of momentary relief and comfort, but the act of eating to fight stress can end up leading to overindulging and weight gain
- Sugar: Like comfort foods, sugar-based treats do more harm than good, as sugar can have negative effects on your brain and memory, and there’s the inevitable sugar blues when your blood sugar crashes – not good
- Healthy foods: Eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other whole foods will supply your body with the nutrition you need to feel good, and a well-balanced diet will give you the antioxidants needed to fight off the negative effects of stress on your mind and body
It can be tough to set time aside for yourself. On top of all the responsibilities in your life, there’s also the inundation of information from your social media accounts. While it’s great to be tuned in to what everyone else is doing, it’s also easy to absorb all that extra information as added stress on your own life. It’s imperative that you set time aside for self-care, and these are a few of the best things you can do to fight stress and its effects:
- Massage: Not that you need a good excuse to book a massage, but this is one of the best ways to reduce both physical and mental stress, so it should be easy to rationalize
- Exercise: Sure, this one takes effort, but whether it’s weight training, yoga, CrossFit, jogging, biking, or walking, physical exercise is great for your heart and an excellent way to relieve stress
- Hobbies: This is one that few people seem to set time aside for, but fitting time in for a hobby is a great way to tune the world out and tune yourself in, even if it’s just reading a book
- Intimacy: This is something that really shouldn’t take any convincing at all, but it’s shocking just how many people have their sex lives falling by the wayside – the hormone release alone is worth it, but the state of relaxation after spending “quality time” with someone is hard to beat
Even if you go out of your way to plan every detail of your daily diet, there are still plenty of nutrients you can use in supplemental form that can help control stress and reduce the negative effects of chronic stress. Here are just a few of the nutrients we’d recommend:
- Multivitamin/multimineral complex: A full-spectrum multivitamin-mineral supplement will help take a lot of the guesswork out of your diet planning, and it can also supply you with vitamin C to help with blood pressure and cortisol control, B vitamins to combat fatigue and other conditions brought on by stress, and you can get maximum dosages of natural antioxidants to help fight the short- and long-term effects of stress
- Phosphatidylserine: This nutrient effectively helps control cortisol (stress hormone) release, so it can reduce chronic fatigue and myriad other negative effects associated with excessive stress
- Turmeric: Much more than just a seasoning, in higher doses this ancient Ayurvedic medicine is used for many physical health benefits, and it’s also reported to support an improved sense of well-being, reducing the emotional effects of high stress
- Melatonin: High stress during the day can make it hard to shut your mind off at night which causes sleeping issues, but supplemental melatonin is a great solution as a nighttime sleep aid for occasional restlessness without needing to resort to pharmaceutical sleep aids that can lead to grogginess
You can’t avoid all stress, and why would you? That would lead to a horribly boring life. However, chronic stress can kill you…literally, so take steps to avoid excessive stress and reduce the negative impact of stress on your health. Learn how to fight stress in a way that works best for you, and live a longer, happier life.
Note: For information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.