Most doctors will tell you that many of today’s ailments are caused not by viruses or bacteria, but stress. Everyday people are becoming more stressed out and are not doing anything to minimize stress on the body, mind and spirit. Whether it’s with nutrients or stress relieving techniques, reducing stress will help you live a healthier life.
With the added hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s enough to make anyone’s stress levels rise to very high proportions. People experience stressed all the time but our stress levels are highest when we are under pressure and it’s those high stress levels that do us the most harm as time progresses.
There are many healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. Unhealthy ways of dealing with stress may temporarily reduce stress, but in the long run they be detrimental to your health. Below is a list of unhealthy ways of dealing with stress that can damage your health and eventually ruin your life.
- Drinking alcohol
- Using pills (prescription/over the counter), or illegal drugs to relax
- Withdrawing from others
- Over eating or under eating
- Taking your stress out on others through angry verbal out burst or physical violence.
- Avoiding your problems instead of dealing with them.
Here are a few stress busting nutrients and techniques that you can use on a daily basis to help you reduce stress before it reaches a high level that may affect you’re your life, health and well-being.
- Pantothenic Acid – Helps control the action of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands play a crucial part in stress response. Some foods enriched in Pantothenic acid are cereal grains, legumes, lamb, chicory greens, endive and mushrooms.
- Vitamin C – During stressful times vitamin C is depleted quickly. Vitamin C deficiency can worsen anxiety and irritability and can lower your immune system. Be sure to load up on vitamin C during stressful times to help give you the extra boost you and your immune system needs. Some of the foods that contain vitamin C are kiwi, oranges, broccoli, sweet bell peppers and raspberries are just of few that are enriched with vitamin C.
- Zinc – Zinc is crucial to your well-being. It plays a role in at least 80 different enzyme reactions and is a brain neurotransmitter. Some of the foods that contain Zinc are poultry, whole grains, oysters and nuts.
- Magnesium – helps reduce stress and it helps reduce homoscysteine levels which lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and many degenerative diseases. Some good sources of Magnesium are brown rice, orka, swiss chard, spinach and almonds.
- Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) – Every cell in your body is made of these specialized fats, and these cells need a continuous supply of these fatty acids in order to function at its peak. The body uses EFA’s to repair membranes and cells as well as absorb nutrients and get rid of harmful waste from the body. Reduce inflammation throughout your body, increase the activity of another chemical derived from endothelial cells (endothelium-derived nitric oxide), which causes arteries to relax and dilate. EFA’s also reduce the production of messenger chemicals called cytokines, which are involved in the inflammatory response associated with atherosclerosis. Needless to say EFA’s are essential in maintaining your health and well-being. EFA’s are found in foods like salmon, mackeral, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, leafy green veggies, olive oil and avocados are just a few of the many healthy foods enriched with EFA’s.
- St. John’s Wort and Valerian – Both are herbs that have a calming effect and helps take the edge off. These herbs help relax you so your stress level can reduce. Either one is good to help relieve stress. Do Not take Valerian or St. Johns Wort together.
- Meditation – Meditation is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help you activate the body’s natural relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these relaxation techniques lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels. These techniques also help you to stay calm and collected in the face of life’s unexpected twist and turns. A soothing massage can help you unwind and relieve stress. A massage can relieve tension in your muscles, and it’s a great way to you relax, relieve stress and anxiety, and reduce muscle soreness. A massage can also cause your body to release natural painkillers, and boost your immune system. There are few sensual experiences that I know that can rival a full body massage for stress relief.
- Talking with a friend or counselor – When we are stress over life’s up’s and downs something a good way to get relief is talking with a friend or counselor to help vent your feelings and problems that may be causing you stress.
All the nutrients I mentioned above can be taken in supplement form with your food as well, you will get more benefit from them when added to your daily diet. You also need to avoid high acid foods which may raise your PH levels and processed foods. Nourish your body, mind and spirit everyday and you will be better able to reduce stress and live a happier and healthier life.