Simple “Stress Less” Solutions
With all the distractions, commitments and obligations that we face in today’s world, we often get spread thin with all of these in life and can cause us to stress out and don’t know how to find a true solution to our stress. However, we must recognize that there are different types of stress that we face. For instance, there is a physical, mental, emotional, environment and spiritual stress. Stress is part of life and the key is to build pliability when challenges arise.
Chronic stress brings great consequences to our bodies especially affecting our hormones like cortisol. Cortisol in excess is damaging to our brain, reduce muscle mass, weakens the digestive system, adipose tissue build up in our hips and stomach region, and increase blood sugar levels. Overtime with chronic stress, our immune system weakens and can risk of getting infectious disease along with impaired memory. So how do we prevent these serious conditions that can impair us when we have so much stress? I would like to share a handful of stress less solutions on how we can drastically lower our stress and live a better quality of life.
#1 Get Restful Sleep
If there is one tip to take from all these solution-based ideas to reduce your stress is to stick with a consistent sleep schedule. Make sure to go to bed at around the same time each night. This is very crucial since our bodies are creatures of habit. It’s not recommended to take a nap after 3 PM since it will be harder to go to sleep. Make sure to not over plan your evening since its key to wind down at night and not do anything stress related before bed that can raise your cortisol levels
Meditation will help you calm down at night and re-frame your mind to focus on your breathing and keep your body relaxed. From my experience when I meditate, I feel more relaxed and not feel worrisome especially right before bedtime or while in bed. Meditation will help you not be so anxious as well.
#3 Consume Wholesome Nutrition-Real Natural Foods
As a Certified Nutrition Coach, I have seen in my clients and myself the power of real food can help meet your vitamins and minerals that you need each day to nourish your body. When compared to processed foods that have sugar, it can deplete our Magnesium levels in our body. Magnesium is a mineral that we are lacking in your diets from processed foods or the depleted soil from the food we eat. Examples of foods that have Magnesium are avocado, spinach, kale, pumpkins seeds, almonds, salmon, etc. Magnesium will help your muscles and nerves feel more relaxed especially when falling asleep.
#4 Drink Adequate Amounts of Water
Water is the most important nutrient for our body. Especially this time of year, water can be overlooked to drink since it gets cold outside. When we are dehydrated, it’s a sign that our body is inflamed and it raises cortisol. Cortisol can signal our bodies to store fat around the stomach region.
Researchers discovered those consume two cups of water before each meal lost an average of pounds more body weight during a 12-week calorie controlled eating plan than those who subscribed the same eating plan but did NOT consume water (Paddock). If you don’t like drinking water because of taste, you can add flavor by one of the following suggestions: ginger, limes, lemon, fresh mint, raspberries, cucumbers, Your welcome to add a pinch of unprocessed sea salt to your water (Owens).
Deep breathing will help bring more oxygen which results in of releasing endorphins that creates the feeling of happiness, calm and peace by moving the autonomic nervous system from aroused to relaxation. Make sure to plan ahead and make 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening to pivot on deep belly breathing. When you breathe deeply using your diaphragm muscle, you are utilizing a full breath into the stomach compared to utilizing your lungs and rib cage (Owens).
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Courtesy: Owens, Paula. Fat Loss Revolution: 12 Weeks to a Hot n Healthy Body at Any Age. Paulaowens.com, 2012.