Work days, emails, texts, snaps, advertisements and more; everything we consume on a day-to-day basis has its own way of building up stress inside of us that effect us physically and mentally. Add in the news media trying to convince us who is evil on the daily, and sometimes you just need a break.
One of the simplest ways we can reduce stress is regular exercise. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones and also helps release endorphins, which improve your mood, acting as a natural stress reliever. This coincides with your confidence levels so you can look and feel good too.
Pair this with foods rich in Vitamin C (not too much, there’s still natural sugars in there) and Omega-3 fatty acids. A 2011 study showed medical students taking Omega-3 supplements saw a 20% reduction in stress-related symptoms.
If all this talk about eating and exercise makes you sleepy, you’re in luck, that’s our next topic! A 2014 poll from the Harvard School of Public Health found that 70% of those reporting recent stress had also experienced trouble sleeping. More than 40% reported stressful events related to health, while nearly half of respondents had a major stressful event during the past year.
Turn off your screens, make sure the room is dark, and make sure you are getting enough sleep. Fatigue can affect your health, mood and motivation.
Lastly, watch your coffee/caffeine intake. Caffeine intake is so common that its pharmacological effects on the mind are
often undervalued. It is a stimulant, it is a drug; find out the hard way by skipping it for a couple days if you don’t believe it.
If caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back. If you drink several cups a day, drink only a couple and try to work your way down to none. If you only drink one, try skipping it every other day or find a tasty decaf brew you like.
Simple things like lighting a candle or writing down your feelings about whatever is bothering you can help reduce stress levels as well. Even setting 10-20 minutes aside to sit in silence or focus on your breathing, shutting off from everything and everyone for this brief period, can help reduce stress and brighten your mood.
The only way to see changes is to make changes, so don’t go on living a stress-filled life, it isn’t healthy!