The body’s stress response is its way of protecting you. It can help you stay energized, focused, and alert. It can help you nail that presentation at work, or perform your best at a sporting event.
However, if too much stress is present, it stops being helpful and becomes hurtful. Excess stress can affect your mood, productivity, your relationships, and your overall quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Stress:
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory problems
- Aches and pains
- Eating more or less
- Digestive problems
- Sleeping too much or too little
It’s important for everyone to learn to manage their stress. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s likely that stress is already beginning to have a negative effect on your health, and it’s even more important to start addressing these issues as soon as possible.
Here are a few ways you can reduce the effect of stress on your health and improve the overall quality of your life.
From aerobics to weightlifting, exercise releases endorphins, which are your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. Exercise also acts as a form of meditation by keeping you focused on your physical activity and clearing your mind from outside stressors.
Furthermore, exercise improves your overall health and sense of well-being, which helps you cope with stress more effectively. We recommend exercising at least 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes.
Practice deep breathing
It’s amazing how good a deep breath can feel! Whenever you’re feeling stressed, take a minute to yourself to close your eyes and take five deep breaths inhaling slowly through your nose, and exhaling slowly out your mouth.
Take care of yourself
Especially in times of high stress, it’s important to make sure that you’re giving your body all of the fuel it needs. Be sure that you are eating plenty of high polyphenol fruits and vegetables, getting enough protein, drinking plenty of water, and obtaining omegas through fish and/or a high quality Omega-3 Fish Oil supplement.
Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts. Some people find relaxing music enjoyable, while others find silence to work best. Allow yourself to let go of stressful thoughts, and instead focus on pleasant thoughts. Practicing imagery – imagining a peaceful place, such as a warm field of flowers – can be an excellent way to meditate.
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—Dr. Martin Luther King