How to De-Stress for Better Health
Everyone deals with stress. At low levels, stress can be a good thing; it motivates us and fuels us to achieve our goals. But when stress goes awry, it can have debilitating effects on the body and mind. Stress can contribute to weight gain, skin irritations, lack of sleep, cardiac issues, immune disorders, reckless behavior, and suicidal thoughts. If you’re struggling with stress, it may be time to step back and make a choice to change your life.
Use Stress-Management Techniques
You can integrate simple techniques into your daily routine to help manage stress. It’s easy to get distracted and forget to take a moment to smell the roses, but it’s essential to your wellbeing. One of the easiest methods is meditation. Meditation isn’t limited to religious practice; it’s an everyday exercise that helps you stay present, lower blood pressure, and relax the body. Learn meditation from a meditation coach, or download an app you can use for just a few minutes to relieve tension and clear your mind.
Eat Healthier Meals
Food is fuel for the body, and you need nutritious food to keep your body running. Artificial sugars, Trans fats, high sodium, nitrates, and processed grains can affect you mentally and physically. These ingredients may cause inflammation, high blood sugar, weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and so much more. Visit a dietician who can construct a diet based on your health concerns
Do you enjoy unwinding after work with a glass of wine or beer? It’s been proven that certain alcohols (like full-bodied red wines) can do wonders for the heart, but excess alcohol will severely damage your body and impair your mind. Depression has been linked to alcohol abuse, and vice versa. Be wary of your alcohol intake and limit it to a single beer or glass of wine during a normal day or weeknight. Don’t let alcohol become your go to solution for stress. If you think you have a drinking problem, get help; it’s better to seek help than to go it alone.
Get Restful Sleep
Sleep and stress are inextricably linked. Stress can cause a lack of sleep, and lack of sleep can cause more stress— an endless cycle that affects your relationships and your work. If you struggle to get to sleep, it’s time to rethink your routine. Start simply by avoiding technology an hour before bed. Instead, practice meditative breathing, apply relaxing essential oils to your skin, or try reading a book. If you need a little extra help, you might consider taking a small dose of melatonin. Train yourself to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day to correct your circadian rhythm, and if this doesn’t help, seek the help of a professional.
Exercise is key to a healthy mind. It’s been proven that when you exercise, your brain releases pleasure hormones called endorphins—the rush you feel after a good workout. Exercise is also linked to better sleep, improved cardiovascular health, and higher self-esteem. Find something that you enjoy, whether it be Pilates, running, weightlifting, tai chi, or even a brisk walk.
Listen to Your Body
Stress and hormones are linked. Imbalanced hormones can cause illness, weight gain, skin issues, inflammation, lack of sleep—all of which lead to increased stress levels. Stress can also cause the body to release cortisol, a hormone that can impact the immune system and digestive system. If you’re feeling stressed, listen to your body. Hair loss, poor digestion, acne breakouts, weight gain, and decreased fertility are just a few indicators that stress is hurting your body. If nothing else is helping your stress, consider visiting a doctor who can check for hormone issues. Some hormonal issues have simple solutions; for example, birth control improves acne by regulating hormones to combat oil production. Check in with your doctor for professional treatment options and take control of your skin health.
Don’t let stress ruin your life. Keep yourself healthy inside and out by following these tips.