Stress has been labeled the “silent killer.” Ominous yes, but it’s also accurate. You see, stress is unique in that it affects the body on all levels – physical, mental and emotional. And, even though the body is designed to withstand and at times harness stress, too much can overwhelm the system, leading to serious health issues.
While we all have different triggers that cause stress, there are ways that everyone can better cope with and overcome it through increased health awareness.
7 Health Tips for Lowering Stress
Stress is the catalyst for many illnesses and ailments. When you’re stressed you’re in survival mode, which shuts down the non-essential functions until the issue passes. The problem with chronic stress is those “non-essentials,” like the immune system, continue to be suppressed. Increase your health awareness ONE tip at a time to start stifling stress instead.
Tip #1 – Schedule Time Off
Work is a cause of routine stress according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Are you feeling on edge all the time at your desk? Are you working long hours to try and increase productivity, but instead just end up feeling overworked? It’s important to schedule your time off first, even before factoring in time for your ONE Thing. Without downtime to recoup, there’s no way to overcome stress or reach maximum productivity when you are on the clock.
Tip #2 – Keep a Sleep Diary
This diary isn’t for recording dreams. It’s for keeping track of how you’re sleeping – the amount, the quality and the time it takes to fall asleep. Sleep is one part of your day that is greatly affected by stress, which in turn can affect everything else. Monitoring sleep is a health awareness habit that can catch some of the first signs of stress.
Tip #3 – Get on a Stress-Free Diet
Dealing with stress requires the body to be in peak physical condition. Unfortunately, overeating and under eating are behavioral responses to stress. Making an effort to eat healthy – fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, soluble fiber and good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) will give the proper fuel to fight stress. These foods also improve cholesterol levels, which can be significantly impacted by stress. Your primary physician or a nutritionist can help you create a diet plan that meets your specific needs.
Tip #4 – Skip the Cigarettes and Alcohol
It’s a well-known fact that cigarettes lead to a slew of health problems and over-indulging in alcohol takes a toll on the body. Though some may call them stress-relievers, alcohol and cigarettes actually exasperate the problem rather than providing a fix. Cigarettes and alcohol will only mask the stress, which keeps your body locked in that state. Replace them with a healthy stress reliever instead, like chewing gum or drinking a cup of black tea.
Tip #5 – Lace Up Your Running Shoes
You’ve heard of fight or flight syndrome, but did you know stress is what gives you the ability to do either in an undesirable situation? A rush of nerve chemicals and hormones help in survival, but when this state is prolonged it has the opposite effect. Keep stress in check and improve your overall health by taking flight. Bonus: exercise is a mood booster.
Tip #6 – Roll Out the Yoga Mat
One of the best things about yoga is that it makes you more aware of your body. With focus on relaxation, meditation and strengthening, yoga will help you tap into the stress-less parts of yourself.
Tip #7 – Know Your Limits
Overextending ourselves is a common cause of stress. Instead of trying to take everything on, prioritize and focus only on the things that matter most at home and work. Scale things back as much as possible – you’ll actually be more productive.
We all react to stress differently, and many people have discovered their own effective stress relievers on top of the general tips mentioned here. Have a stress relief tip of your own? Share it here or on social media using #theONEthing.
Original Source: http://the1thing.wpengine.com/66-day-challenge/seven-healthy-ways-to-stifle-stress