Published By: K.D Cameron
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6 stress-busting strategies to help slow your roll

It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of everyday life. The demands at work, your desire to spend quality time with your family, financial concerns…it adds up. You find yourself irritable. Yelling at the football on the television. Snapping at your spouse and you kids.

You need to relax. But it’s just not that simple, is it? It can be.

Here are 6 simple strategies for reducing stress that you can start today. Seriously, these are simple, common-sense things that won’t interfere with your life but could have a huge impact on your sense of wellbeing. They may run counter to the conventional wisdom, but they represent the latest in stress science.

Get mad. That’s right, if you’re faced with a situation that makes you angry, let yourself be angry. Anger is a fleeting emotion most often triggered by a passing event. Feel it and let it pass. But remember, it’s how you respond to the emotion that counts with others. You can feel your anger without sharing it, and thereby limit its impact and resonance.

Get some sleep. Honestly, your mind and body are in no condition to handle stressful situations if not given the proper time to rejuvenate. Sleep is absolutely vital to the nervous system and as previously reported here, essential to the foundation of memory and brain function. Stress and sleep are opposites in a viscous cycle—stress interferes with sleep; lack of sleep increases stress.  If you need help in the sleep department, don’t cheat with drugs, either. They’ll just add to your stress. Just exercise good sense, go to bed at the same time each night, turn off the electronics, and if you have to take something, drink some herbal tea or try supplements like melatonin or GABA, which work naturally with your body.

Eat some candy. No, really…but not just any candy. Eat some chocolate. Good chocolate, the darker the better. Chocolate triggers receptors in the brain that are associated with satisfaction, calmness and pleasure. We’re not saying you should go out and eat an entire Lindt bar in one sitting, but a little dark chocolate can go a long way toward calming the nerves and just plain putting a smile on your face.

Get yourself moving. It’s the last thing you want to do when your anxious, exhausted and stressed out, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Exercise. Physical activity produces feel-good endorphins that last long after the effort you put in. Many people get hung up on this one, but we’re not saying you have to go out and run a marathon. Go mow your lawn, weed the garden…if you live in an apartment and don’t have these available, take a walk. Park at the end of the lot rather than right in front of the door.  You don’t have to join a gym to find ways to be active, and the more active you are, the more relaxed you’ll be. (We know, it sounds counterintuitive but trust us, it’s true!)

Get a pet. Companion animals can have a profound effect on our lives, as proven in countless scientific studies. The same biochemical found to be released in response to human relationships are in play in our relationships with our pets as well. And it is these biochemical messengers that engender peace, tranquility and happiness. We take care of our pets, and our pets in turn take care of us.

Eat right and supplement. A poor diet is proven to contribute to stress by negatively impacting both brain and body. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat good food, food you enjoy. But like everything in life, moderation is key.

Eating regularly is key to a stress-busting diet, as it helps reduce insulin spikes, which have a direct impact on your energy and clarity. Variation is beneficial, as it keeps the digestive system working on all cylinders. And nutrition should always be considered. You can’t just live on chips and sausage. Limit animal fats, liberally allow green leafy vegetables rich in stress-reducing B vitamins, include a healthy amount of fiber, and make sure to get adequate protein. Where your diet may run short, supplementation can be helpful to fill in the gaps.




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