How a Healthy Lifestyle Combats Stress
In this series of articles we’re talking about Stress. We’ve talked about how stress can get in the way of your life and about some strategies to help you get stress relief. In this article we’ll discuss how a healthy lifestyle can help eliminate stress.
Stress relief begins with you…your choices can make a difference!
Let’s begin by talking about Nutrition.
Healthy food management and a sound nutrition plan help us recover from the effects of stress. The food you eat influences how you feel and how you handle stress. Food affects your thinking, your energy level, and your ability to sleep. In addition, if use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs have damaged your body, you may have additional difficulties in recovering from stress. By eating right, you give your body the material it needs to repair the damage.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains offer the greatest bargain and nutritional balance. Eating a variety of these healthy, whole foods can reduce mood swings and bring your body and mind into balance. Drinking plenty of water is important to allow your body to clean out the impurities.
Exercise can reduce stress
Exercise is another part of a healthy lifestyle that helps reduce the effects of stress. Exercise also has many intrinsic benefits; besides, the physical benefits of better strength, stamina and weight control, exercise creates endorphins and helps bring your body chemistry back into balance. This benefits you directly by reducing stress and depression.
Moderate exercise, done on a daily basis, has physical and psychological benefits that will improve your life. A well-rounded exercise regime should include flexibility, endurance, and strength training, but it does not need to be excessive.
The effects of poor sleep habits
People who live stressful lives often have poor sleep habits. The average adult needs 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Some research indicated even more. People often use drugs to induce sleep. Even legal drugs that are sold as sleep aids throw your body out of balance and in the end interfere with healthy sleep patterns.
Tips for better sleep:
- Go to bed early enough so you wake up easily each day and, as much as possible, keep to the same sleep schedule on weekends and vacations. (Don’t think you can make up for chronic sleep deprivation in your time off.)
- Watch what you eat and drink. If you’re hungry or stuffed, you may be too uncomfortable to sleep. Limit fluid intake to prevent disruptive midnight trips to the bathroom.
- Have a bedtime ritual that helps signal your body that it is time to sleep. Doing the same things each night – taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music – says it is time to wind down. Keep the TV and other electronic devices turned off – recent research suggests that using such devices interferes with slumber.
- Get comfortable. An ideal room for most people to sleep is cool, dark and quiet.
- Limit daytime naps. Long naps can interfere with regular sleep. If you must nap, limit it to about 10 – 30 minutes, and take it in mid afternoon, well ahead of your bedtime.
Stress is inevitable, but these are some great strategies to help control it.
This is an excerpt from my book “Embracing Change From the Inside Out”
If you’re ready to make life changes from the inside out contact me, I will help you understand how to make those changes.
You can also contact me to speak at your next event, I will adjust my topic to the needs of your audience.