Serenity, anyone? Your go-to guide to fighting stress
Stress is a very common outcome of modern life. Research showed that 80% of employees experience stress on the job. Severe, frequent, or prolonged stress can be harmful for your body both physically and mentally. So we must manage stress for a happier life. Here’s your handy guide to fighting stress and living a healthier and more joyful life.
1. Make sure your diet is nutrient-dense
Stress thrives when you take no action to reduce it. A poor diet is a surefire way to increase your stress levels. When stress attacks, your body produces hormones like ghrelin, insulin, and cortisol, which tend to induce junk food cravings and intense hunger pangs. If you fail to manage stress, those hormones stay increased, elevating the levels of leptin, a hormone that aids the body in identifying when it’s full. Leptin resistance has been linked to obesity and other health issues.
Drinking enough water during the day and eating nutrient-dense foods can help you prevent the hormonal changes and decrease your stress levels.
Foods that help to manage stress are leafy greens, avocado, oranges, nuts, milk, bananas, dark chocolate, and whole-grain carbs like brown rice, sweet
potatoes, quinoa, and others.
Sipping warm chamomile tea is a quick way to relieve the tension after a stressful situation. Chamomile provides the soothing effect, stimulates the production of the feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin, and helps rewire the stress response of the body.
2. Choose the right supplements
Nowadays, there are many medications that promise to help you combat stress, anxiety, and depression. However, putting too many chemicals into your body can do more harm than good. Supplementation is a healthier alternative to medications. Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of high-quality supplements.
Valerian, for instance, is a great sleep aid thanks to its ability to lower psychological and physical stress responses. It’s a source of valerenic acid that aids in changing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to ease tension and stress.
An adaptogenic herb, Rhodiola rosea is known for its ability to help manage mental and physical fatigue thanks to its potent active ingredients, such as salidroside and rosavin. This supplement helps to treat stress related burnout and chronic fatigue.
Ashwagandha supplementation has been shown to increase the body’s resilience to both mental and physical stress. According to a scientific review, people who took Ashwagandha extract supplement scored higher on tests, which measured levels of fatigue, anxiety, and stress.
A natural component of tea leaves, L-theanine is another supplement that you can reap benefits from. This amino acid can help relax your body and combat stress without making you feel sleepy. A review of several studies that involved 68,000 participants found that L-theanine in green tea relieved stress, anxiety, and enhanced memory and concentration.
B complex vitamins are vital for your metabolism, heart health, and mental health. Today, it’s easy to develop deficiencies in B vitamins, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. These deficiencies cause numerous health problems. Moreover, not getting enough B vitamins has been linked with chronic stress, mood changes, and depression.
Research found that supplementing with B vitamins as part of a mineral and multivitamin supplement decreased the homocysteine levels, which might help fight stress and boost mood.
When you are stressed out, move your body. Regular workouts can help you better manage stress on a daily basis. Moreover, regular exercise can ward off anxiety and depression along with other medical conditions. If you don’t feel like heading to the gym, you can practice yoga or just go for a stroll in the nearest park.
When you move your body, you automatically decrease the cortisol levels, which are stress hormones that drain your energy and health. On the other hand, exercise helps to increase endorphins levels. They act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Exercise can also help you sleep better by relieving the
pressure you feel at the end of a stressful day.
4. Get enough sleep
No matter how busy you are, you need to get those 7-8 hours of sleep. When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to experience stress. If you have difficulty falling asleep or you’re prone to overthinking, try some relaxing techniques before bed.
Listening to soothing music, practicing breathing exercises, burning a scented lavender candle, writing a journal, or cuddling with a pet can help you relax and fall asleep better.
If you suffer from chronic stress though, you might have already experienced sleep disorders. Melatonin supplementation is known for its ability to improve the sleep-wake cycle. A natural hormone, melatonin is needed for controlling the circadian rhythm of the body.
A scientific review that involved 1,683 individuals with sleep disorders revealed that melatonin helped to fall asleep faster, and enhanced overall sleep time and its quality.
5. Start saying no
Life stressors are everywhere and often we cause them ourselves. Reconsider your lifestyle and see where you can say no. Whether it’s saying no to your friend who is asking you out when you’re sleep deprived, or social media that makes you experience negative emotions and steals your sleep times, or saying no to your boss who is trying to give you extra tasks, you have to learn how to say no.
Experiment for a week and see how stress vanishes from your life. Saying yes to the things that make you healthy and happy is a much better habit to adopt.
The final word
Even though stress can happen in your personal life and workplace, you’re able to ease the tension you feel at the end of the day. Oftentimes, nutrient deficiencies contribute to stress-related diseases, which is why supplementation is an easy way to handle the problem.