Granted, it was a relief to kick 2018 to the curb. 2019? Well it’s anyone’s guess as to how it’ll all turn out. Regardless, stress is an inescapable part of life. Good news! You don’t have to be a helpless victim to the daily grind. Here are some stress busting solutions that’ll help you to survive, and maybe even thrive!
Getting regular exercise, even just a 20 minute walk a couple of times a week, will reduce stress. Mentally, exercise releases endorphins and enkephalins, hormones that act as the body’s natural anti-depressants and painkillers. Exercise lowers the cortisol levels in the body which regulates stress, appetite and muscle wasting. Regular exercise undoubtedly helps you think clearer, act more quickly and sleep more soundly at night.
Besides cleaning up your nutrition and eating healthier, there are supplements on the market that can affect stress positively. While these are over-the-counter substances, always check with your doctor before trying them.
Green Tea: This contains polyphenol, anti-oxidants which fight infection in the body. Green tea may also increase serotonin levels in the brain which combat stress and fatigue.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Researchers have found that these healthy fats can reduce stress by as much as 20%. You don’t even need to buy capsules if you’re eating fish, lean beef and avocado.
Valerian Root and Chamomile: These are often brewed as teas to lower anxiety and improve sleep.
Aromatherapy has been used for ages to alleviate stress. Whether they are utilized in a candle or as essential oils in your bath or shower, certain scents can dispel noisy stress and create an ambiance of peace and tranquility. Try lavender, pine, rose, sandalwood, chamomile, frankincense, lemon grass and orange for calmative effects.
While it may seem logical to withdraw when you’re anxious, stressed, or depressed, it’s to your advantage to reach out and socialize. Being around like-minded friends and contacts who are upbeat and positive helps you to open- up. Sharing experiences, laughing and having fun are more beneficial to you than fretting and ruminating. If you don’t have a social network, try volunteering your time to a worthwhile charity. If humans get on your nerves, consider adopting a furry, loving pet.
Watch your drinking. Getting plastered may seem like the way to deal with stress, but in the long run, it’ll leave the worse for wear. Alcohol consumption causes dehydration and vitamin deficiencies. It can also lead to the the serious depletion of your brain’s neurotransmitters (serotonin) causing depression and mood swings. As far as caffeinated beverages, they’re the last things you need when you’re already anxious and jittery.
Remember, there are times when it’s OK to put yourself first. Saying “no” to an extra project at work, or dropping a negative acquaintance are all good things. Get a massage, take a meditation class, or curl up with a great Netflix series.