Stress is an unavoidable part of life. The more stress you have, the more it can negatively affect your health, and although you might not be able to avoid stress, there are numerous ways to reduce the effects of stress.
Most stress certainly isn’t enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t beneficial—to a certain extent. Dealing with stress teaches you coping skills along with problem-solving tactics that can help you get through life more proficiently.
However, when the effects of stress are so high that you’re unable to manage it all effectively, you can start to suffer the effects of chronic stress. Beyond the uneasy feelings of high stress, chronic stress can be bad for your health. It can lead to heart disease, inflammation, impaired immune system function, weight gain from overeating, weight loss from undereating, or self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
If you feel like you’re suffering from high stress, you’re not alone. Up to 75% of adults suffer from symptoms of high-stress. If you’ve been trying hard to reduce stress levels with no results, you might at least be able to reduce the effects of high stress.
A major source of stress are the hyper-busy schedules we all have. Chances are pretty high that you’re constantly bombarded by new sources of stress every day on top of your typical family, work, school, or relationship stress.
Maintaining all that stress without dealing with it in some form can wreak havoc on nearly every aspect of your life, so here are a few simple ways to modify your daily schedule to help minimize stress or reduce its effects:
- Turn off the electronics at a specific time every night, at least 30-60 minutes before bed
- Avoid the morning rush by waking up earlier, even if it’s just 15-30 minutes
- Don’t skip breaks at work or school to stretch, move, or simply relax
- Slow your breathing when you feel stress building
- When possible, avoid negative situations and people
- Set aside some “me time” for exercise, reading, hobbies, watching a show, or spending time with pets, friends, and loved ones
- It might sound like spoiling yourself, but one of the best ways to reduce both physical and mental stress is to schedule regular massages
- Physical intimacy with your partner is a great way to reduce the effects of stress, and it gives you a healthy hormone boost to enhance your sense of well-being
On top of all the regular stress of life, your diet can have a big effect on stress levels. There are certain things you can reduce, eliminate, or add to your daily diet that might help:
- Comfort food: This one can go either way. Certain comfort foods can help you flashback to simpler, stress-free times to temporarily alleviate the feelings of stress, but be cautious not to rely on this is a coping mechanism on a regular basis, as weight gain can catch up with you in a hurry
- Sugar: Foods that are high in sugar might be your first craving when stress gets high, but nothing good will come from sugar-laden foods, as crashing blood sugar can come on quickly and make things worse, and that can be compounded by weight gain and feelings of stress—none of which will help with stress
- Balanced nutrition: A well-balanced diet with high-fiber fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds with healthy fats, and other nutrient-dense whole foods can boost energy, increase your sense of well-being, and provide health-enhancing antioxidants—RawFusion Complete is the ideal way to ensure balanced nutrition when time is short for preparing full meals
- Caffeine: As great as a cup of coffee can be for mental focus and energy, too much caffeine can overstimulate your nervous system, effectively amplifying any feelings of stress and/or anxiety
- Alcohol: That after-work cocktail or nightcap might feel like it’s reducing your stress, but alcohol isn’t a good crutch to rely on and can have negative long-term effects on your health that aren’t worth it
- Smoking: Luckily, is no longer a predominant way for people to deal with stress, but it can still become an option for some people—nothing good can come of it, so we highly recommend avoiding this altogether
Daily stress is a simple and unavoidable fact of life, but chronic stress can slowly ruin your health, yet there are things you can do to prevent it from becoming a problem. Find a few ways listed above that sound appealing, and use those to reduce the effects of stress in your life.