Sometimes, life can be stressful. The demands of family, work, and the always-ringing phone can take their toll on your physical well-being. If you’re having trouble sleeping or suffering from aching muscles due to stress, there are some simple ways you can take action right now to help relieve the problem. You may not be able to eliminate stress from your life entirely, but you can choose to protect yourself with natural, healthy habits.
One of the best things you can do to help relieve stress is to get regular physical exercise. Adults who enjoy some form of physical activity every day report reduced stress levels and may also experience the added benefits of weight loss and greater cardiovascular health. Whether it’s walking, biking, dancing, yoga, or some other form of healthy movement, staying active is a great way to relieve tension and keep stress at bay.
How you eat makes a big difference in your stress levels as well. Are you rushing to the fast food drive through rather than preparing food at home? Those pre-made meals are quick, but leave you feeling fatigued and won’t provide you with the nutrition you need to get through your day. With a little advance planning, you can enjoy wholesome foods that provide some natural stress relief.
Complex carbohydrates are a valuable stress-fighting tool. Carbs stimulate your brain to fight off stress by making more serotonin. Choose whole-grain pastas and breads, and start your day with a whole-grain breakfast cereal such as oatmeal. Complex carbs also stabilize your blood sugar level to avoid that mid-morning energy drain.
Getting enough vitamin C and magnesium are essential for combating stress as well. Snacking on orange slices or cooked soybeans boost levels of these nutrients. Fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fats, which help curb the production of stress hormones. For an ideal stress-fighting combination lunch, try a salad containing spinach, orange segments, and salmon or tuna.
Switch out some of those daily cups of coffee for black tea; studies show that people who drink four cups of black tea a day report lower levels of stress. Black tea contains caffeine and also has many antioxidant and heart health benefits of its own, so it’s a great coffee alternative that will get you going in the morning without compromising your health. Caffeine intake should be decreased or stopped in the late afternoon to avoid interfering with your sleep.
For office snacking, instead of chips or candy, try pistachios, walnuts, and almonds. These nutritional nuts are shown to help reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and stress. If you’re craving a high-fat treat, eat some guacamole. Rich in potassium, avocados help reduce high blood pressure and lessen the effects of stress. Raw vegetables are another great office snack; they’re packed with vitamins and fiber, and can help relieve tension if you tend to clench your teeth. Read about stress, sleep and your immune system.
Along with your other healthy stress management habits, you may wish to add a daily multivitamin to your diet. Advanced Immune Defense™ (AID) can help you supplement your daily intake of vitamins and minerals and can support your immune system. With ginseng, betaine, and other bio-available, easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, and plant nutrients, AID provides the extra boost that can help you keep your life, and health, in balance.