Being “stressed out” can cause both physical and mental maladies and can have a negative affect on your overall well-being. Stress is caused by pressures at work, home, school and sometimes by people like your boss, co-workers, friends and family.
High levels of stress can lead to headaches, anxiety or panic attacks, depression, heart troubles and difficulty concentrating. Although there are medications that can help deal with the symptoms of stress, there are also many steps you can take to fight stress naturally.
Here are five tips on how to fight stress.
- Eat a healthy diet. Supplying your body with proper nutrients assures that your immune system is strong helps to defend against colds, flus and other viruses. Make sure that you eat plenty of raw and cooked vegetables, because they're packed with essential vitamins that help keep your body healthy on a cellular level. Limit or eliminate your intake of red meat. Be sure not to 'medicate' with food. Eating a lot of fast food and other calorie dense, fat laden foods can lead to weight gain and more health troubles.
- Exercise. Exercise helps release endorphins, which are “feel good” chemicals produced naturally by the body. Exercise forces you to move your body instead of just sitting around feeling sluggish and stressed. It can be as simple as taking a walk and getting some fresh air, enjoying the flowers or by heading to the gym to take part in group exercise classes or taking your stress out on an elliptical trainer.
- Put some time aside for yourself. Women, especially, might find that they spend all of their time caring for others and don't find time to care for themselves. Try to put aside some time every day to enjoy quiet, to read or to pamper yourself. Take a bubble bath and don't worry about folding the laundry for 15 minutes. If you can afford it, consider getting a massage, a manicure or a pedicure. These types of little things help boost your self esteem and are a relatively affordable way to fight stress. Hobbies are another stress relief.
- Drink Herbal teas and /or use Essential oils. Herbal teas that contain kava kava and mint help you relax and release tension. Teas that contain caffeine should generally be avoided. Essential oils like eucalyptus and other mints can be used to fragrance your home, for a lighter, refreshing scent.
- Keep a positive attitude. Even though you might be tempted to make yourself a victim, realize that there is more than one solution to any problem. As humans, we must be able to adapt and change to meet the challenges we are met with. For example, if your stress is caused by your job, consider looking for a different job or ask your supervisor if you can work a different shift in a different department. You might also consider supplementing your income with work that you can do from your home in an effort to reduce the number of hours you have to work at your job. When your mind isn't clouded with negative thoughts, the door will open for everything that's good. Of course, some types of stress don't go away that easily, so just use a level head and don't let your emotions get out of control.
These tips are a great way to start fighting stress right now. Stress is difficult to avoid in modern life, but it doesn't have to rule your day, either. If you find yourself under extreme amounts of stress and you're having troubles dealing with it, be sure to discuss this with your primary care physician.