Fighting the Effects of Stress

Stress is a fact of life that affects our mood, health, and appearance. Understanding stress, what is causing your stress, and how to deal with stress are your first steps towards fighting the many negative physical, mental, and emotional effects associated with stress. The free series “Understanding Stress” that you can find using the link above will help you with those first steps. Here we will be discussing things that you can do to improve the way you handle stress and counteract some of the symptoms associated with a stressful lifestyle.

Breathe just Breathe

One of the best tools that you can use when feeling overwhelmed and stressed out is breathing. Not the short or shallow breaths that most people seem to use unconsciously throughout the day. When we say breathing, we are referring to deep breathing.

Deep breathing is when you inhale extending your belly expanding your abdominal cage and allowing your lungs to completely fill with air and much needed oxygen. This is the kind of breathing that revitalizes your body by supplying the bloodstream with oxygen and expelling unwanted toxins.

When you take the time to consciously and slowly breathe deeply you take a break from your conscious mind allowing your body’s automatic system to take over and relax muscles, improve circulation, and reset the minds ability to cope.

Exercise makes you Wise

Yep, that’s what we said. When you exercise you increase the oxygen filled blood being sent to the brain allowing your brain to purge toxins, feed on vital nutrients, and stimulate fresh neural pathways. As a result your mind becomes clearer allowing it to manage stressful situations more easily and efficiently.

The best types of exercise to do in order to relieve stress are those that include stretching and deep breathing as part of the workout such as; Pilates, Cardio exercises, and Yoga.

Modify your Diet

Stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and processed sugars are the worst things that you can eat when dealing with stress. Unfortunately they are the fast and easy choice that most often get consumed during stressful or excessively busy times.

Instead of opting for that cup of coffee, martini, or donut when life gets to bustling or difficult, reach for a nice cup of herbal tea, juice, or a piece of fruit. Making these changes will balance out blood sugar minimizing fluctuations; while the antioxidants boost immune system responses. When the body has the proper fuel it has the necessary nutrients to help you cope with stressful situations thinking more clearly, and reacting more appropriately to external stimuli.

Since stress affects all aspects of your health and life from causing wrinkles and heart disease to increasing social conflicts that are caused from inappropriate responses to certain situations, it is vital to know how to deal with stress on a daily basis in a healthy manner. Regularly including stress reducing exercises, deep breathing sessions, and modifying your eating habits to include healthier options is the best way to combat everyday stress and decrease the effects that it has on your body and life.