The Hidden Dangers of Stress, How it’s Affecting Your Health and What to Do About It

by Anna D

Just about everybody encounters stress whether it’s through the daily work grind or during the holidays. However, a lot of people forget that it can take a toll on our physical health. For instance, during December, all the holiday activities and family events all crammed into 1 month that it is really easy to get overloaded with stress even long after the holidays have passed. In addition to holiday stress, there’s the stress of dealing with deadlines at work, sales quotas to meet, taking care of the children, and so on.

Stress causes our body to release excessive levels of cortisol, which has a number of unwanted negative effects such as irritability, elevated chance for heart attack and increased appetite. Don’t allow this discourage you, there are a lot of things one can perform in order to eliminate stress and subsequently decrease cortisol levels!

Stress Reduction Strategy #1: Keep Moving

The initial factor in any stress-reduction program is to exercise. It is a effective stress-reliever. Exercise succeeds in several ways to fight stress and decrease cortisol levels. Scientific studies have shown exercise to help in naturally dropping your cortisol levels which in turn lowers your hunger.

Exercising on a regular basis can also make physical tasks a lot less difficult to do and hence lower stress associated with any physical challenge. The time you spend exercising is your time to clear the brain of whatever you may be worrying about. Bootcamp workouts at Transform FX Fitness assist with this because the entire workout is already set up for you. Additionally, there is a fitness trainer who will guide you through your movement guaranteeing perfect form while you don’t have to be worried about the crowds of people found in a regular gym.

Stress Reduction Strategy #2: Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Hippocrates once said to let food be thy medicinie so the second stage to a low stress holiday season and lifestyle is a healthy diet plan. Proper nutrition will help keep your stamina levels high and increase your immune function to keep your body from feeling stressed. One item you should include in your daily diet plan is a sufficient amount of Vitamin C, found in great quantity in bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, pineapples, and oranges.

Vitamin C may additionally help lower your cortisol levels. One study published in the journal Psychopharmacology recruited 120 volunteers who were subjected to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). A test used to measure psychological stress. Those who took vitamin C had lower blood pressure, much less subjective stress, and lowered cortisol levels in comparison with the placebo group. Another nutrient to include in your daily diet regime is Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts. This does not mean you have to eat fish every day but you can find Omega-3 fatty acids in pill form at any local health food store like Harvest House in Concord or Natural Life Foods in Pleasant Hill. One research study discovered that as little as 7-8 grams of fish oil a day can effectively lower high cortisol levels due to mental stress.

Finally make sure you take some time out of your day to unwind, breath deep, and clear your mind of worry. Deep breathing is incredibly efficient at calming you down and lowering your pulse rate and blood pressure. Always make sure to take time to treat your body right and you’ll be rewarded many times over.

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