Stress and anxiety have become common phenomena in our fast-paced lifestyle. But just because they’re common, doesn’t mean they need to be normalized.
Stress is a silent killer. It can lead to lifestyle issues like sleep issues, fatigue, anxiety, slow metabolism & low immunity. Over time, these issues can grow into serious diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, which are irreversible.
To nip stress in the bud, it’s important to take early action and stop it from putting out bodies in distress. Here are some physical, nutritional and lifestyle changes that we can make to manage the effects of stress.
Being physically active is one of the best ways to cope with stress. Exercise reduces cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in the body and promotes the production of endorphins (the body’s natural mood elevators). Exercising for a few minutes every day can relax our body and help with reducing stress.
Drinking sufficient water can help release toxins in our body, making us feel refreshed. Dehydration saps our brain’s energy, which can affect the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that heavily affects our mood.
- Get quality sleep
When we’re stressed, it’s difficult to fall asleep or get restful sleep, which results in more stress the following day. And the vicious cycle continues. Make sure to reduce light exposure before bedtime, and sip on a soothing cuppa to unwind and fall asleep easily.
- Practise deep breathing
Deep breathing allows us to clear our minds and regulate our thoughts in a positive direction. It can calm the mind and the body and enhance focus.
- Spend some time in nature
Humans have coexisted with plants for thousands of years. We feel best when we’re surrounded by nature. Taking a walk out in the open can be refreshing & rejuvenating when you feel overwhelmed.
- Listen to your favourite music
No matter which song, music can have a very relaxing effect on our bodies. Sometimes just listening to a familiar tune or relatable lyrics can be what you need to bring the much-needed calm on a chaotic day.
Spend time with loved ones
Being a part of a social group gives us a feeling of being loved, which releases the hormone Oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. When things start getting tough, reaching out to a loved one to share a laugh, or have a hearty conversation can be a good start to control your stress levels.
- Switch to non-caffeinated beverages
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee and energy drinks. High consumption can lead to caffeine crashes and jitters and add to your anxiety. Switch to natural, non-caffeinated beverages for a boost of natural energy, with no side effects.
- Prioritize nutrition
Our body & mind are closely connected. The food that goes into our bodies significantly impacts our mood and stress levels. Try to avoid greasy, sugary snacks and plan your meals according to your body’s nutritional needs.
- Add adaptogens to your diet
Adaptogens are nutritional herbs that help our body handle the effects of stress. Some examples include Tulsi, Ashwagandha & Reishi Mushroom. Consuming a precise dosage of adaptogens every day in the form of tea or a nutritional bar can significantly reduce our stress levels.
The act of writing things down is calming and relaxing. Focusing your attention on your thoughts can make them less overwhelming.
- Have a self-care routine
Having a self-care routine is a great way to take out some time from our day for our body & mind. It can relieve the pressure of everyday life and can improve energy & concentration. Here is all you need to know about the importance of having a self-care routine.
Identify your stressors/triggers
Identifying the causes of stress can be an important part of stress management. After figuring out the stressors, it’s easy to take appropriate steps to reduce or avoid them.
- Reduce blue light exposure
Blue light is radiated by our electronic devices like phones and laptops. Increased exposure to blue light can add to our stress levels and impact our quality of sleep.
- Learn to say No
Sometimes the major contributor to our stress is a never-ending task list. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, start saying no to additional responsibilities. Taking a break for your mental health is normal and important.
- Talk it out
When it gets too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to a loved one or a licensed practitioner for help. A reassuring conversation can do wonders.