As overworking and extreme productivity seem to be the new growing trends in the workplace and at home, people all around the world are experiencing the effects of chronic stress. While we may think staying busy all the time will get us closer to our goals, the toll that stress takes can bring us one step closer to the grave.
Stressed Out: The Damage That’s Done
When one lets stress overtake their life, life can go downhill quite quickly. Along with the emotional damage that stress can cause, the body also experiences very real damage due to stress.
Chronic stress can noticeably affect your weight, body’s immunity to sickness, and your susceptibility to illnesses like diabetes. While many people that end up on the wrong side of stress don’t realize the warning signs before it’s too late, catching chronic stress in its early stages is the key to overcoming it. Read on for ways to overcome your chronic stress.
1. Eat Healthy
While it may be easy to blame work-related events for all of your stress, what you eat does have an effect on how your body handles situations. To overcome your chronic stress, start by changing your diet. You will want to switch the fast, fried foods for real whole foods. Eating properly will help your body to have a healthy balance of hormones, insulin and cortisol. This will set you on a pass for stress-less success.
Additionally, you will want to carefully choose what you don’t consume as well. Many people swear by caffeine and alcohol but don’t realize that these kinds of things add stress to the body. When your body is dependent on sugar, caffeine or alcohol, you become a lot more susceptible to stress.
2. Understand Your Family History
When getting a handle on your chronic stress, it helps to see a doctor. A lot of the time, chronic stress can run in the family. Known biological causes of stress include gluten allergies, vitamin B12 and magnesium deficiencies, mercury toxicity and more. The beautiful thing about medicine is the more we know, the better we can protect ourselves. Just because most of your family suffered from stress does not mean that you have to face the same fate.
3. Make Time to Relax
Workaholics may be uncomfortable with the idea of taking time to relax, but it is absolutely necessary. It’s important for anyone dealing with chronic stress to understand that taking time to meditate and to take a pause from life isn’t for lazy people– it’s for all people.
The most productive people know that they are only truly productive when their mind is balanced. In order to have a balanced mind, one cannot let their body become riddled by stress. Make it a point to practice breathing exercises or do something that is mindful. The more you take time out to calm yourself, the more balanced you will feel and the more you will accomplish.
4. Learn Something New
Focusing on a new passion helps take the stress out of life. It’s good to have a leisure activity to focus on once or twice a week that allows you to be stress free. Think about starting a new hobby, learning a new sport or starting new conversations with new people. Having the freedom to be a beginner in a new setting gives you a chance to be free from the expectation of “having to know everything” or “getting everything right”.
5. Exercise Often
It’s no coincidence that many people turn to exercise to deal with their problems. Working out is an excellent way to reduce stress. Many studies have proven that pharmaceutical drugs pale in comparison to exercise when it comes to treating depression.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a gym membership — any sort of exercise is really good for stress. Make it a point to take a 20 minute walk or run each day if you want to get started with exercising to reduce stress. Releasing the tension and pent up energy through exercise will help clear your mind and body.
6. Take Vitamins and Supplements
Regularly taking nutrients and multivitamins will help you balance your body’s response to stress. Vitamins can include B-complex vitamins, zinc, vitamin c and more. Be sure to consult a doctor before choosing which vitamins or supplements to take. Ideally, these vitamins will give you more natural energy and help your body to regain its immunity.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Getting caught up in the humdrum of the work schedule is quite easy. Many people do not ever get the amount of sleep they truly need. Take the time to reorient your sleeping schedule to make sure you are getting the most our of your bedtime.
Stress in life is unavoidable. However, it is how you choose to react to it that may change your life forever.