FEELING STRESSED? YOU'RE NOT ALONE!
Updated: Apr 30
5-Core Values of Living a Healthy Lifestyle To Manage Stress
Written by Dan Derby at BioNAV Health & Wellness
Economic Uncertainty Brings Stress
Trying to cope with stress in today seems to be getting more challenging every day. With news of economic uncertainty, the increase of living expenses, and work-related stress, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and fear. While these emotions are natural responses, the impact of stress on the mind and body can be harmful if not managed the right way. It's important to remember that stress management doesn't have to be a daunting task. By understanding the source of your stress and taking steps to cope with it, you can find yourself better equipped to deal with unexpected changes and life's challenges.
What is Stress
Stress is a feeling of pressure or tension caused by daily life events, such as work-related issues, money troubles, family problems, and even health concerns. It can also be triggered by short-term changes in daily routines. The level of stress you experience depends on how much pressure you emotionally feel to meet demands or cope with difficult situations. If the demands are greater than your ability to cope, your stress level will increase.
Your body responds to stress with an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and release of hormones designed to help you deal with the situation at hand. In moderate amounts this response can help you focus better and perform more efficiently; however, too much stress can lead to physical and emotional problems such as headaches, depression, and increased anxiety. It can also increase several risk factors and develop more serious health problems such as chronic stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
It is important to manage your daily stress levels in order to protect both your mental and physical well-being. There are several easy ways to reduce daily stress, such as engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, meditating, or talking to friends. By taking steps to better manage daily stress levels you will be able to lead a healthier and happier life.
Managing stress is essential for maintaining good mental health. Stress can lead to a variety of physical and psychological health problems, such as headaches, depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Fortunately, there are several effective techniques for managing stress that can help reduce its effects on your overall well-being.
Although there are a wide variety of ways to manage stress, this article will discuss stress management tips by focusing on what BioNAV Health & Wellness believes to be the 5-core values of living a healthy lifestyle.
#1 Physical Exercise
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, which can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. It can also help reduce cortisol, the hormone responsible for triggering stress. Exercise can also be a great way to clear your mind and refocus your thoughts. Most physicians and cardiologists recommend moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This can include brisk walking, running, swimming, or even weight training.
In addition to improving mood and reducing stress hormones, physical exercise also helps improve blood circulation. Improved blood flow increases the amount of oxygen reaching your brain and muscles. This helps strengthen immunity and reduces stress levels by increasing energy levels and restoring balance in body chemistry. Exercise also strengthens your heart's muscle fibers which help it pump more efficiently and reduce strain on your cardiovascular system. Regular exercise is essential for managing stress effectively as it prepares the body to cope better with stressful situations. <Source: Mayo Clinic>
#2 Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is an essential part of stress management, as it can help to boost your immune system and protect you from the effects of unhealthy diets. With so many new trends today, it's important to understand what makes up a nutritious diet and how certain foods can help manage stress levels. One dietary style that has been linked to improved mental health is the Mediterranean Diet.
Most of us have heard of the Mediterranean Diet which includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fish as its primary source of nutrition. But so many people often forget to include it in their regular diet. The Mediterranean Diet reminds us to eat less saturated fat, sugar, and processed food while adding in sources of healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado. This type of diet emphasizes fresh ingredients.
Another important factor to consider when managing stress levels is the duration of your fast. Fasting refers to abstaining from food for a set period of time, typically 12-24 hours or more. While fasting can be beneficial for weight loss and blood glucose control, it can also have an effect on blood pressure, energy levels, and even brain fog in some people. Additionally, mental clarity can be improved with longer fasts as your body is able to enter into a restorative state and focus on healing instead of digesting food.
If you are looking to manage stress levels through diet, it's important to understand the difference between short-term fasting and long-term fasting. Both can be beneficial, but it is important to make sure that you are eating a balanced nutritious diet when not fasting in order to maintain optimal health. Additionally, it is important to talk with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine. Doing so will ensure that you are getting the proper nutrition for your individual needs and lifestyle. With careful planning and monitoring, managing blood pressure and other stress-related conditions can be possible with the right dietary approach. <Source: Cleveland Clinic - Fasting/Diet>
#3 Drink Plenty of Water
One of the simplest and most effective ways to help manage stress is to drink plenty of water. Proper hydration can help to reduce the effects of dehydration, improve mood, and maintain proper blood flow throughout your body. Drinking adequate amounts of water can also aid in digestion and prevent the build-up of toxins in the body. Additionally, studies have shown that drinking enough water can help reduce headaches and fatigue caused by dehydration.
If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your energy levels or just want a natural solution for stress relief, try drinking more water throughout the day. Not only will it help keep your body functioning optimally but it may also provide psychological benefits as well. Studies suggest that increasing daily hydration can help reduce anxiety, restlessness, and even depression. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day for optimal mental and physical health! <Source: Healthline>
#4 Getting Enough Sleep & Rest
After you "burn off" anxiety from a good exercise routine, your body will want to rest. Getting enough sleep is a key element of stress management. Sleep is crucial for achieving REM (rapid eye movement) deep sleep, which helps the body to relax and recover from both physical and mental stress. Not getting enough quality sleep can lead to fatigue, concentration, and increased levels of anxiety. In addition to achieving ample amounts of REM sleep, it's important to have good sleeping habits in order to ensure that you get enough rest each night.
Establishing a regular bedtime routine such as avoiding caffeine late at night, limiting screen time before bedtime, and practicing meditation or yoga before going to bed can all help improve your quality of sleep. Additionally, keeping a consistent schedule throughout the week will help keep your circadian rhythm in balance and help your body to better regulate itself. <Source: The Sleep Doctor>
#5 Deep Breathing
What seems to be so simple and natural, most people don't remember to take deep breaths to how they breathe until they are slightly out of breath, snoring, meditating, or exercising.
Deep breathing is at the heart of all relaxation techniques. Taking deep breaths helps to bring a sense of calm and clarity, while also providing physical benefits such as increased oxygen flow throughout the body. Deep breaths help reduce muscle tension, which can prevent headaches and other physical disturbances caused by stress.
Reminding yourself to take deep breaths is not always easy when you are constantly facing stressful events or situations. But if you can start a routine to practice deep breathing you will be able to find quick stress relief in any situation. Take deep breaths and count down from 10-1 for each inhale and exhale, focusing on only your breath until the number one is reached. <Source: Harvard Health Blog>
_______ THIS ARTICLE IS NOT MEANT TO REPLACE MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST BEFORE CHANGING YOUR REGIMEN AND/OR STARTING A NEW TREATMENT.
About the Author
Dan Derby is an independent research writer for BioNAV® Health & Wellness. Dan’s articles and comments have been published in a variety of online industry publications. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.