How to Manage & Reduce Stress Symptoms Naturally with a Healthy Lifestyle
Whether it is family commitments, our careers, or the daily challenges of our everyday lives, we all experience stress in one way or another. The body has actually been ‘designed’ to experience stress in order to help prepare our bodies to handle high-pressure situations. Our hearts will pound, our nervous system is activated, and our decision-making ability is heightened, allowing us to quickly decide whether we need to fight or flight. It is an evolutionary response that has helped us survive, but unfortunately it can become consistently present in our normal activities. The stress hormone known as cortisol is repeatedly released, leading to increased inflammation, minimised immunity, and even elevate the risk for strokes, heart attacks and more. Over the long-term, this can all create chronic stress symptoms affecting our everyday lives, such as body aches, fatigue, erratic thinking, and feelings of losing control. There are strategies, however, through living a healthy lifestyle that one can naturally manage and relieve stress.
Maintain a Healthy Diet with Foods that Reduce Stress Levels
As we get caught up with everything on our to-do lists, we forget how important our diets are to our overall wellbeing. Instead of seeing it simply as another chore and opting for quicker, more convenient meals with lower nutritional value, remember that foods and fluids are how our bodies receive the nutrients and energy needed for proper function, growth and recovery. Reducing the amount of processed fats and sugar brings down the amount of oxidation and inflammation to minimise weight gain, as well as get essential elements including Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E and C, fibre, and more. Certain foods are actually said to directly reduce stress, too, such as herbal tea to promote a sensation of calm, and dark chocolate for its antioxidants.
Dietary supplements can also be an excellent way to relieve stress. Melrose Stress Support, for example, is a stress supplement made from a variety of herbal ingredients proven to better manage the symptoms of chronic stress, including magnesium glycinate, rhodiola and ashwagandha. Adults looking for strategies to manage or reduce their stress can take 2g of these supplements to work towards supporting healthy sleeping patterns, balanced moods, reducing fatigue, strengthening immune systems, increasing energy production, and enhancing memory and cognitive function.
Engage in Regular Exercise
In many people’s opinion, the hardest part of exercise is simply getting started, and this is never truer than when we are feeling stressed. With that being said, engaging in various forms of exercise can work tremendously well in naturally reducing stress levels. Firstly, physical activity is proven to help the production of neurotransmitters in the brain known as endorphins. These activate the body’s opiate receptors, creating a sense of joy and elation. Exercise also helps us to process stress in a more natural setting, aligning your nervous systems response with your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems. Starting slow like a walk around the block will suffice, before you can gently begin to increase aerobic activity, until you find yourself running marathons (we can surprise ourselves).
Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce Stress
Meditation is an excellent method to help us manage and relieve our stress levels. After all, stress is largely brought on by our perceptions of a certain situation, or a set of situations. Taking a short amount of time, every day, to pause throughout our fast-paced lives and assess what is happening around us can help to ‘soften’ our outlook. With a bit of mindfulness, we can take an event, or task, or obligation we see as overly taxing – even as important as life or death – and reframe it to be seen as an opportunity for growth, development, and empowering.