Stress is an ever-present element in your life.
It seeps into every corner of your existence and puts pressure on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Even though it is natural to activate a stress response, it is not that normal to let stress eat away at your wellbeing.
How Does the Body Respond to Stress?
You have to be aware that not all kinds of stress are toxic. We identify two types: the good and the bad.
Good stress, also called ‘eustress’, is the boost you need to get things done. It helps you perform smarter, concentrate harder, and overall carry out your responsibilities better. Good stress increases your heart rate, quickens your breath, and tightens your muscles.
However, if you never stop to take a breather, eustress turns into distress, otherwise known as the bad kind of stress.
If you subject yourself to prolonged periods of worrying, without using techniques to manage stress and anxiety, you will end up feeling drained. Your body will send signals that you have to relax asap. But what do chronic stress signals look like?
These may vary accordingly to how your mind and body are designed to respond to stressors. Some emotional responses may be moodiness, feeling overwhelmed, depression, and reclusion. Cognitive responses look like a racing mind, forgetfulness, incapacity to focus, and a pessimistic approach to life.
Some physical symptoms of stress are:
- upset stomach
- chest pain or tightness in the upper abdomen
- skin issues (rashes, itchiness, eczema)
- frequent colds
- low energy
5 Steps to Manage Your Stress and Anxiety
We’ve compelled a short, easy-to-implement list of things you could do to face stress like a superhero.
1. Exercise is a Treatment for Chronic Stress
Did you know that working out lowers your stress levels effectively?
And the logic behind it is, in fact, simple.
- Exercise regulates certain hormones that dictate your mood. A regular exercise schedule impedes the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, all while sustaining the production of endorphins.
- Physical activity betters the quality of your sleep. “The side effect” of restful sleep is that you have a greater resistance to stress.
Tip no 1: Make a habit of doing regular exercise. Try to work out two to three hours per week on average. And if you’re not a fan of working out, any physical activity helps to manage stress and anxiety.
- Walk more often and walk faster.
- Play with your dog in the park.
- Challenge your family to go together on a hike. Anything!
2. Time With Family and Friends Decreases Your Stress Response
There is something magical about being surrounded by those you love, especially when dealing with stressful situations. But that’s not so much magic, as it is chemistry.
On the one hand, talking about the things that bug you or make you worry helps unload all the emotional and psychological pressure. On the other hand, what happens in your body is that you release a chemical called oxytocin that helps to relieve stress.
Besides, family and friends could make you laugh. Laughter turns on and then turns off your stress response, and as a result, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, minimizing the symptoms of stress. It also increases endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals that boost your mood and reduce the release of stress hormones.
Another thing that can help you to manage stress and anxiety is cuddling. Warm and affectionate physical contact lowers cortisol and pumps you with oxytocin.
Lastly, if there’s no one in sight, turn to your pet. Interactions with pets work as a treatment for chronic stress because they also trigger the release of oxytocin.
Tip no 2: Chronic stress makes you distance yourself from family and friends. So, try and do the opposite. Make an active effort to spend time with those that you care about.
3. How to Manage Stress and Anxiety With Herbs?
Have you thought of turning to mother nature’s proven mood boosters?
Certain plants and extracts have a calming effect on the nervous system. Some of the most common and effective ones are:
- Lemon Balm
- Oat straw
Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb, used in traditional medicine to relieve stress, improve energy levels, and boost brain function. Studies show that Ashwagandha is effective as a treatment for chronic stress, anxiety, and sleep. It contains adaptogens that work to counteract the harmful effects of stress in the body by lowering levels of the "stress hormone", cortisol.
Lemon balm is a herb that is currently employed in cases of acute and chronic stress, for its calm-inducing and alertness-reducing capacities. People that supplement with lemon balm report an overall improved mood. So go ahead and let lemon balm help you improve cognitive functions, sleep quality, indigestion, nausea, headaches, toothaches, and menstrual pains.
Chamomile is often associated with restful sleep, but did you know it treats anxiety-induced digestive issues, such as gas, stomach inflammation, and abdominal pain?
Oat straw extract, also known as green oat or wild oat, is an extract made out of the green stems and leaves of young oats. Oat straw became known due to its highly nutritious content. Aside from helping you manage stress and anxiety, some health benefits of oat straw extract are enhanced attention and focus, improved memory, and lower risks of developing depression.
4. Let Go of Worries and Temper Stress With Mindfulness
Meditation has become a really popular practice in the last few years. We believe that this is because of its effectiveness.
Numerous studies have proved how mindfulness in general, and mindful meditation in particular, can be an effective tool to manage stress and anxiety. If you’re not yet sure about the inner workings of meditation, hear us out.
Mindful meditation is an exercise for your mind. It trains your mind to pay attention to the present moment, to your breath, surroundings, body, and feelings. Consequently, you learn to accept the present and your feelings, so you can move on from pain and worries.
By embracing the present, you will stop all that worry from turning into distress.
Tip no 4: Your best bet to becoming mindful would be signing up for mindfulness classes. If that’s not available to you, tap into the present moment with the help of meditation apps.
Keep in mind! Concentrate on your breath, and should any thoughts or feelings arise, allow them to be heard and felt, and then let them go.
5. Balanced Meals, Balanced Life
We can’t stress enough (pun intended) the importance of diet. Food dictates your energy, mood, and general wellbeing.
When stressed, your mind dreams of the most greasy, salty, and unhealthy meal existing. But you have to ignore that dream. That’s because…
Carbohydrates and sugar create a spike in blood sugar. At first, you may feel energetic and joyful, but when blood sugar lowers, stress and anxiety increase.
What you want to do is to balance your blood sugar naturally, through diet and everyday decisions.
Tip no 5: So stop yourself from eating junk food. Vegetables and legumes will help you avoid sugar crashes, thus maintaining your energy throughout the day.
Final Words on Why It Is Important to Manage Stress and Anxiety
Let’s say that your stomach hurts. What happens next is that your body uses pain as a signal to notify you that something isn’t working quite right. You take a painkiller, and the pain eases or disappears for the moment. But the truth is that you didn’t address the core issue.
This is also how stress works.
The advice we handed to you in this article is the painkiller. It is something to keep you strong during hard times. But just like an upset stomach that requires closer inspection, so does your mental health.
We advise you to analyze your environment; look deeper into what is causing you to experience stress or anxiety, and perhaps seek specialized help to deal with any underlying conditions.
Until then, search our shop for the supplement that helps you get by.
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