Curb Stress: 4 Tips to Improve Your
Health & Well-Being
In the world of today with plenty of health trends emerging and disappearing, we all want to look and feel good. But considering most of us lead fast-paced lives that have become synonymous with stress, we want a quick fix for this instead of realising it’s a continuous process that involves work, day in and day out.
Only by making the daily decision to lead a healthy lifestyle and focus on fitness just as much as on mental and spiritual growth, it's possible to achieve a healthy mind in a healthy body despite the problems and anxieties. While there’s no magical way about it, there are some means you can use to get the wanted results. In this blog post, you’re going to read my tips on how to curb stress and improve your health and well-being.
1. Improve Your Diet
Experiencing chronic stress can take its toll on your well-being, and provide unwanted outcomes. More so when your diet lacks the needed nutrients necessary to give you the energy you require to cope with it.
By now you’ve probably heard that you should avoid junk food and sodas and instead enrich your diet with plenty of water, fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, nuts and seeds, as well as probiotics for weight loss, immune system boost, and general health benefits. Those like me who have a sweet tooth can also get their sugary fix from healthy and sweet treats like raw chocolates.
And yet, what you may not be aware of is that stress can deplete the body of various minerals and vitamins. So, even if you adopt a well-balanced diet, you wouldn’t be doing your health a favour if you keep on experiencing “fight or flight” situations on a regular basis.
That’s why the answer lies in further enriching your diet with mineral and vitamin supplements from trusted brands and retailers. Avoid reaching for the help of cheap supplements because they don’t have the right ingredients your body can absorb, thus being a waste of money and time.
Which Supplements to Pick?
In a world of health supplements, you might be overwhelmed by all the options of powders and tablets, so to make it easy for you, I suggest focusing on the basic vitamins and minerals that are mostly affected by the higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. These are vitamin C, vitamins B and magnesium, the very same that have their benefits on mental and physical performance too.
- When stressed out, your body, specifically the adrenal glands, use up a great deal of vitamin C in order to produce cortisol. As a vital antioxidant, this vitamin is essential for various bodily functions, among which the immune system, metabolising proteins, repairing tissues, absorbing iron as well as forming collagen.
- So, if you want to prevent premature skin and gene ageing caused by chronic stress, and avoid any damage by free radicals, get a vitamin C dietary supplement along with eating plenty of kiwi, strawberries, mango, pineapple, papaya, blackcurrant, kale, mustard spinach, and bell peppers.
- Since B vitamins have their impact on cell metabolism, brain function and energy, when you experience vitamin B deficiency you’d experience symptoms related to these three aspects. For optimal health in terms of body and mind, you should eat more poultry, dairy products, legumes like lentils, dark and leafy vegetables like broccoli, and count on the help of combination vitamin supplements also.
- With its role in numerous bodily chemical reactions and processes, magnesium is crucial for maintaining the blood pressure and blood sugar levels, maintaining the genes, moving the muscles (e.g. contracting and relaxing), providing anti-inflammatory benefits, and regulating the nervous system among others.
Apart from choosing from the wide range of magnesium supplements, in tablets, powder and spray, you should implement your diet with more spinach, tamarind, okra, lima beans, avocados, bananas, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy nuts, quinoa, salmon, and bran cereals.
2. Improve Your Sleep
By now, you’ve probably gone through some sleepless nights and noticed how your moods change throughout the following day. This is so because lack of sleep increases the stress levels, but the same can be said vice versa – stress badly affects your sleep quality. If you think it’s a vicious circle, you’re not wrong!
It’s needless to say, both can have their effect on mental and physical health-related issues. Now then, what can one do to make the most of sleep and reduce the risks of stress increase? The answer is simple - adopt bedtime routines and turn the bedroom into a sanctuary. Besides, the changes in your diet are also in favour of this aspect too.
When it comes to adopting a bedtime routine, start by going to bed at a specific time and setting an alarm at the same time each morning (even during weekends!). Also, refrain from unhealthy snacking and foods and drinks containing caffeine right before sleep.
In terms of the bedroom, I don’t mean you should start spending money on a makeover, but rather get rid of anything that doesn’t find its place in a sleep sanctuary. This could be mess which badly affects rest, electronics, and work-related items. The bedroom isn’t your storage, game room or office so stop treating it like that!
3. Take Time to Exercise
Kudos to those of you who stick to an exercising routine and work on your body goals! It isn’t always easy to talk yourself into working out but persistence sure is rewarding, more so knowing staying physically active also makes for optimal mental health.
This can be explained by the fact being active reduces the release of stress hormones by stimulating the production of the body’s natural painkillers: endorphins. This, in turn, is beneficial for maintaining a lean physique, being more resistant to diseases, and sleeping better.
For those of you who are having a hard time getting in the mood for exercise, and think the couch is more appealing, my suggestion is to choose whatever you find most pleasing. For instance, if you don’t like the thought of lifting weights at the local gyms, don’t take it as an excuse to skip working out at all. The solution lies in building your own gym at home with the bare essentials.
Don’t like this kind of exercise at all and are fond of walking instead? Then make the most of daily walks! Brisk walks for half an hour every morning, in a combination with a healthy diet, would help you look and feel your best.
A word of caution, though, is to avoid pushing yourself more than you can handle. This is true especially when you’re in the process of forming the habit of being active – push yourself too much and you risk failing!
4. Take Time to Relax
It’s easy to feel burnout in the modern-day world, since anything can drain your energy, from stress at work, to a disagreement at home. To be able to protect yourself from feeling fatigue, resentment and anger, you ought to put relaxation on your list of daily priorities.
I know not everyone is a fan of meditation and yoga, no matter how beneficial they may be, so whatever makes you feel great can be your means of relaxation. For some people, reading books provides immense happiness, as much as getting a new hobby. Others find pleasure in writing in their journal, praying, pampering with natural skin care products, hugging their loved ones, having fun with their pets, helping others, exploring new places, and learning new languages.
You catch my drift: there’s no single recipe for relaxation, as it means different things for everyone. Find what you love doing and do more of it!