As human beings, we are not designed to cope with long periods of unremitting stress. The stress response is important to help us deal with acute situations, sometimes called ‘fight or flight’, but these should be followed by periods of relaxation and rest.
However, in our fast-paced society this does not always happen. Keeping on top of your mental health and stress levels is so important as prolonged stress has been linked to heart disease, depression, auto immune conditions and even diabetes.
Supplements may be needed to support stress in times of need especially magnesium (found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds) and B vitamins (found in meat and wholegrains). There is a higher demand for vitamin C during stress so eating more berries, citrus fruits, peppers and Kiwi can help.
Much of our stress and negative feelings come from being too digitally connected, so putting limits on the amount of time spent on devices is really helpful, as is a digital detox. However positive personal social connections are conducive to longevity and happiness. Spend time with people that bring out the magic in you, not the madness!
Other sources of stress are due to not setting appropriate boundaries with work, family and friends. Saying yes too much can stretch us beyond our limits.
Great ways to relieve stress are meditation (try Apps such a Calm or Headspace) and being in nature (trees, water, birds all affect us positively at a cellular level). Yoga and breathing techniques also help reduce stress.
Certain foods increase stress and anxiety especially caffeine and sugar. Balancing blood sugar with regular meal times, and increasing good fats / protein and reducing refined carbs has a great effect on stress and wellbeing.
Don’t accept high stress levels as normal, they really aren’t!