Need some help lightening your load? Here are some tips for lowering stress.
Feeling stressed? You're not alone. Stress is a normal part of life and is often unavoidable. But some stress is actually a positive thing. Eustress is a type of short-term stress that increases creativity, inspires and motivates us. This includes giving us motivation to finish a race or meet an important deadline at work. However, problems arise when stress happens too often or lasts too long.
According to the American Psychological Association, 75 percent of adults report feeling stressed. Stress can take its toll on our health with effects ranging from digestive problems and sleep disorders to a weakened immune system and more. Since we can't always get rid of all stress, it's important we know how to identify what's stressing us and how to manage it. To get a handle on your stress, it's important to:
- Find the source of your stress
- Look for ways to reduce your stress
- Fight stress with healthy activities
Healthy habits play a key role in managing and reducing stress. By practicing good eating habits combined with regular physical activity, you are providing your body with a valuable weapon to fight the effects of stress.
Eat breakfast - A healthy, balanced breakfast can keep blood sugar levels stable, which helps keep your energy up and helps avoid overeating later.
Drink stress-busting beverages - Did you know that large amounts of caffeine can actually make stress worse? That's because it can disrupt sleep especially when it's consumed later in the day. Try switching to a soothing green tea, which is also loaded with healthy antioxidants. And lots of water is always a healthy choice!
Some power foods are especially helpful in fighting stress and strengthening your immunity. Use this handy list to fight stress with healthy foods and recipes.
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Exercise helps to release endorphins, the body's "feel good" hormones, which can lift your mood. This can also be helpful in fighting depression and anxiety, managing weight and lowering disease risk. Other stress-busting activities include yoga and Tai Chi, which incorporate breathing and movement and can help you relax. Another benefit of exercise is that it takes your mind off your worries and allows you to focus on an activity.
Health experts recommend that most healthy adults exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. You can learn more about the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's also important to know that being healthy and fit can better equip you to fight the effects of stress.
HelpGuide offers an extensive set of tools to help you reduce, prevent and cope with stress. Visit their website to learn more.