In our fast paced world, a large portion of the society silently suffers from stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety leads to sleeping disorders, everybody knows that! But this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Chronic stress wreaks havoc with your stress hormones and keeps them elevated, to the extent that it could suppress your immune system.
Elevated stress hormones also disrupts your body’s ability to digest food. Due to which, you begin to gain weight quickly. And as we all know, weight gain is a potential cause of depression. Moreover, bad digestion may also lead to lower insulin sensitivity and this puts you at a risk of prediabetes.
Before we talk about how to reduce stress, let us identify the potential causes.
Not many people are aware of the fact that a poor diet can be one of the causes of stress on your body. The present generation loves to eat fast food that lacks most of the essential nutrients required by the body and thus, the body goes into starvation mode.
You could be suffering from mental, emotional or physical stress. Work pressure taking a toll on you? Projects and assignments keep you working through the night? Competition becoming too tough to handle? We could keep adding to the list, ergo the stress level.
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Now that you have a picture of what suffering from stress could look like, let’s talk about how to reduce stress and anxiety naturally.
- Proper Diet – Eat foods that help lower stress levels. Your body needs all the help it can get to beat stress. Avoid processed and fast food because the excess of carbohydrate and sugar can put a lot of stress on your body. Instead, focus on having a balanced diet that includes fresh food rather than processed alternatives. Also, eat small, protein rich meals at regular intervals through the day, to keep your sugar level in check. A steady blood sugar level is key to keeping a tab on your mood swings.
- Consider using supplements – You could use food supplements that are rich in antioxidants and also help nourish your body. The right nutrients assist your body in its fight against stress. Superfood protein powder, green tea, Kava Kava, lemon balm and Ashwagandha are few food supplements that will help reduce stress and provide your body with the right nutrients.
- Reduce caffeine intake – This one can be hard. But you might want to cut down on your coffee, tea, chocolate or energy drinks. All of them contain caffeine! And high doses of caffeine leads to elevated levels of stress. Everybody has different caffeine threshold. One can go through five cups of coffee while another can take up to eight. But if you ever notice that drinking coffee makes you anxious and jittery, you know what to do!
- Exercise – Research says that people who exercise regularly are less likely to feel stressed than those who don’t. Regular exercise helps your body maintain stress hormone levels and also releases endorphins. This chemical acts as a natural painkiller and helps improve your mood. Moreover, exercise enhances sleep quality and boosts your confidence level which in turn reduces mental stress.
- Learn to say NO – There have been times when you end up saying yes when on the inside you are actually going NOOOOOOO! This can put your mind under stress. Don’t let yourself take on more than you can chew. Be selective about the tasks you take on. Politely refuse ones that you can’t work on. Once you all your tasks set, don’t procrastinate!
- Spend time with friends and family – Take your mind off things and spend time with friends and family. You feel your best and a sense of belonging while you are with the ones you love. This puts your body at ease and this releases oxytocin, which acts as a natural stress buster.
- Prayer and meditation – Research shows that people who practice prayer and meditation on a regular basis, are lesser prone to stress than others who do not. Prayer and meditation promote inner peace, relaxation and well-being. It helps reduce blood pressure, fight insomnia and improve sleep, helps reduce symptoms of depression. Also using a an Ashwagandha supplement will also help.
Don’t let stress win over you! Try these natural methods and don’t hesitate to seek help.