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All of us have experienced stress at some point in our lives, some of us more, some of us less. But there’s a reason why stress is called The Silent Killer. Excessive and chronic stress may lead to serious health problems and drastically reduce the quality of your life.
In this blog post we’ll talk about what is stress, why and when is it important to manage stress and how can you do it. Keep reading.
What Is Stress?
Stress is a normal reaction that we all experience. Some of us are stressed at work or because of a tragic incident, whereas others barely ever feel stressed out. Even noise and big crowds can make some people feel stressed. All of us are differently affected by stress, but it happens to everyone.
Feeling moderate stress from time to time is a completely normal thing. It can even be positive and motivate us to work harder or keep us more alert. However, when it becomes a chronic occurrence then it’s time to change something.
We talked a little bit about stress in our hormonal balance blog post. Your adrenal gland produces a hormone called cortisol. It is also known as the stress hormone because it regulates your body’s reaction to mental and physical stress.
When you’re in a highly stressful situation, your body will start producing more cortisol to deal with the ‘threat’. After this your cortisol levels should go back to normal. If that doesn’t happen and your cortisol levels are constantly high, you’re being exposed to a number of health risks like inflammation and premature aging.
Chronic stress puts a lot of strain on your body and mind and can affect all sorts of physical and psychological processes. Most common symptoms of stress are headaches and chest pain, problems with memory and concentration, fatigue, allergies, high blood pressure, but also anxiety and moodiness. Furthermore, constant stress may lead to heart disease and mental illness.
How To Reduce Stress?
There’s no way to ignore occasional stress. Rather, pay attention to your body and mind. How you react to different situations and how are you really feeling. Here are our top tips on how to manage and reduce stress in your life:
1. Give yourself some quiet time
If you’re constantly feeling stressed by everything and everyone around you, start (or end) your day away from all the distractions. Find yourself at least 15 minutes a day to relax – meditate, pray or just be alone in silence to gather your thoughts.
If you start your day in a relaxed state, it will carry you throughout the day. Don’t underestimate the value of starting and ending your day right and what it can do to your health.
2. Get Moving
Did you know that exercise has been proved to reduce stress? Even if you don’t have hours to spend at the gym, go for a brisk walk or find some free workout videos on YouTube – there are a lot of those available by the way! Better yet, find a sport that you really enjoy doing. It can be hiking, swimming, snowboarding, basketball, a Pilates class or whatever you like.
Physical activity helps you clear your mind and has so many amazing benefits for your health. It reduces the risk of heart diseases, regulates hormones, elevates your mood and helps reduce anxiety.
3. Get Enough Sleep
You’ve probably heard this one a lot. Getting enough sleep can be quite a bit of an effort. All of us have so many responsibilities that need to be taken care of, and often we disregard the need for good quality sleep.
On the contrary, you’ll be ready to roll when you’re well rested. When you’re tired, you’ll lack of energy and will most possibly feel sluggish, even irritated and not at your best. Make sure to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours each night.
If possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day to really get into a good routine. Our bodies like to work in a stable rhythm, and messing your whole routine up is a lot easier than it seems.
Make a schedule and prioritize what you need to be doing. This helps you to stay on top of your responsibilities and feel less stressed out when you have a lot going on. And do not procrastinate! Instead of feeling bad that you’re procrastinating, start doing!
This also goes for the previous point about getting enough sleep. Be organized about your sleeping schedule and make it one of your top priorities.
5. Take A Break
Get away from your computer, look out of the window, have a brisk walk or just a nice cup of coffee – whatever floats your boat. If you find yourself feeling stressed, take a quick break to relax and unwind. Even 5 minutes away from your work desk can do wonders.
Eating healthy and nutritious food provides your body a lot of nutrients that play an important role in managing stress. Good quality carbs and proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of stress relieving nutrients.
Moreover, healthy diet removes waste and toxins from your body, makes your immune system stronger, improves mood and brain functioning and of course helps manage weight and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Avoid processed and fast foods, excess alcohol and drugs to stay healthy and stress free. All of these will deplete your body of beneficial and essential nutrients.
Adding natural remedies like food supplements to your diet is a great idea if you’ve been feeling stressed for a longer period of time or when there’s a stressful situation ahead. Our Holy Basil Leaf Extract is your new go-to supplement to reduce mental and physical stress. It’s been used in the Ayurvedic medicine for centuries because of its protective properties against health problems stemming from stress.
In addition, supplementing with Magnesium and Selenium can be helpful in combating excessive stress as well. These essential nutrients are key players in regulating your hormones and reducing stress, irritability and fatigue.
7. Control Your Emotions
Try to stay positive. It’s so important that you try to see the sunshine even during the ugliest day. Laugh a little, have some fun and enjoy the small things in life. Don’t sweat the small stuff like sitting in traffic or dealing with an annoying neighbor. Take control of your own emotions and reactions and you’ll soon notice how things don’t seem so bad at all.
We can’t avoid stress, but we can learn how to manage it to live a happier and healthier life. We hope that these small but powerful tips will help you deal with stress better as well. What are your top tips to reduce stress in your life? Let us know in the comments!