Everyone experiences stress differently. We can feel stressed at work or in traffic. There may even be times when we feel stressed after a particularly tense exchange with a family member or friend.
A small amount of stress can be a great motivator for someone to perform better at work or in relationships. However, chronic stress can cause a myriad of negative mental, physical, and emotional health issues.
Following healthy lifestyle strategies to reduce and manage stress can help you avoid conditions that can endanger your health. Here are four simple tips you can do every day.
Eat the right food
There’s a reason why junk food is often referred to as “comfort food.” Food and beverages that are chockful of sugars, fat, and salt can boost mood by stimulating the brain’s reward system. This is essentially why you feel a small increase in energy after eating a sleeve of double-stuffed Oreos.
In a study published in Psychology Today, researchers found that comfort foods stimulate the same rewards system associated with substance and drug addiction. In a sense, comfort foods could be seen as one way people self-medicate stress.
The thing about comfort foods is that they don’t provide the right amount of nutrients to properly nourish the body. This is one of the many reasons why it’s referred to as “junk food.” Eating them can give you a momentary high that will eventually die down after a few hours.
When you’re feeling particularly stressed out, a great way to improve your mood is to eat food with healthy ingredients from your local market.
Want something crunchy or sweet to munch on? An apple or banana is a much healthier alternative than a bag of chips. This will provide your body with a long-lasting energy boost to help you survive a busy day.
Focus on your breathing
You’ll be surprised by what a few deep breaths can do to help you better manage your stress levels. Taking deep breaths can help slow down your heart rate and increase the oxygen flow in the body. Thie brain then interprets this action as a signal telling it to relax. Deep breathing can also increase the flow of endorphins in your body.
There are several ways you can start focusing more on your breathing. Meditative practices such as Yoga are a great place to start learning how to breathe better and deeper.
Besides improving flexibility and strength, one of the many benefits of yoga is its effectiveness in helping people connect with their bodies. Being aware of and listening to your body is essential to managing your stress levels. These two factors help you determine what triggers your stress symptoms, as well as what actions you can do to avoid them.
Self-care is one of the most underappreciated and underutilized ways to relieve stress. Stress has a variety of negative side-effects that affect our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. From skin concerns and even mild anxiety, all this can take form in your body while under stress.
If you’re not someone who pays particular attention to your wellbeing, it can be tough to start. Small and consistent actions are the key to learning self-care.
You can begin by giving yourself time to recover after a stressful or tense experience. Find an activity or practice that can help you relax and breathe easily. This can be anything from a few hours at the gym every day or a visit to your favorite museum or park. Giving yourself the time to properly understand and adjust to a new situation is important.
Find time to exercise
Whether it’s going out on a run or joining a spin class at the gym, exercise can provide the body with a ton of benefits. Not only does physical activity help combat stress but it can also help manage stress incontinence in men.
If you’re worried you might not have enough time for a proper workout, it’s okay. You don’t need to spend two to three hours at the gym to get to where you want in your health. A simple 15-minute HIIT workout done at home can do wonders for your health. Furthermore, it can reduce the cortisol stored in your body.
You can sign up for an online class or follow a simple YouTube video. What’s important is that your workout routine fits the lifestyle that you’re currently living.
Don’t forego rest
Rest is an important factor in a healthy and fulfilling life. The less of it you have, the more likely it will be for you to experience chronic stress. Make sure to get enough sleep every night (at least 8 hours). Furthermore, if you feel particularly overwhelmed or exhausted by work, it’s okay to call in sick for the day.
There’s no use in sacrificing your own mental health for work or money. In the end, the most important thing to you should be your health and wellbeing.
It’s almost impossible to avoid stress, especially in this fast-paced society. However, by taking careful steps, you can reduce your stress and bring your mind back to a more peaceful state.
The five healthy lifestyle strategies to reduce and manage the stress that we shared today can help you find respite in your busy life. Make time to read over each strategy and apply them to your everyday life.