5 Skills For Preventing Chronic Stress

5 Skills For Preventing Chronic Stress

Stress is something that affects us all. Chronic stress is long-term stress that goes unimpeded over a long period of time.

The fear, flight or fight response is on for an extended time and adrenaline is pumping constantly. This places fatigue on the kidneys and the body’s entire system.

Many diseases are stress related; in fact, some experts estimate that up to 80% of all disease is stress related.

Stress is a key cause of many small and big health problems, including hypertension, headaches, insomnia, skin conditions, diabetes, depression, and anxiety just to name a few.

Knowing that stress has such an impact on our health, it is important to take steps to combat it to whatever extent we can.

The following are five everyday skills that will help you defuse some of your stress and keep you healthier and happier:

Exercise

Regular exercise is known to boost your immunity, improve heart health and blood circulation, increase the amount of oxygen coming in through the lungs and lower stress. It can also elevate mood as happiness endorphins are released during exercise.

A workout of low to moderate intensity can increase your vitality, reduce pain, and improve your sleep. Exercise helps relieve some of the tension associated with chronic stress.

Healthy Eating

Eating well is an essential part of reducing stress. Too much fat, red meat, carbohydrates, and sugar in the diet put stress on the heart and the arteries.

Chronic stress has been connected to the storage of fat around the middle.

To help reduce stress through diet, here is what you should be eating: A minimum of five, and up to ten portions of leafy greens and other vegetables and fruits each day; a small amount of lean meat, chicken or fish; a small amount of whole grains, or legumes (beans and lentils); nuts and seeds.

Relaxation

Learn how to relax all your muscles; you can start at your head and work your way to your toes. Clench one muscle group for a few seconds, and then release.

Move on to the next muscle group and repeat. As you relax, the stress response is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, aiding your digestion and your ability to experience peace and inner quiet.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of focusing on the present moment. Instead of worrying on the future or obsessing over the past, try focusing your mind on experiencing the present moment.

One way to do this is to become aware of your different senses: Listen to the sounds outside your window, feel the touch of your clothes on your skin, smell the aromas of your food, appreciate the colors around you, and notice the tastes of foods when you eat.

Sleep

A good night’s sleep will allow your body a deep and nourishing rest to heal itself; without good sleep stress is exacerbated.

To sleep well, avoid caffeine and other stimulants so that you can get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

Turn all technology off an hour before you turn off the lights. Also, turn the lights down for a while before you actually go to sleep. Use your relaxation skills to help you fall into a deeper sleep.

Final Thoughts

With these easy, everyday skills under your belt, you are well equipped to combat stress. If you combine them all into your daily routine, you will undoubtedly see a reduction in your stress levels and an increase in your happiness levels.

Exercise, healthy eating, relaxation, mindfulness, and good sleep are key elements for achieving optimal health and wellbeing.

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Is Stress Keeping You Up At Night

What to Do When Stress Keeps You Up at Night

Do you know what to do when stress keeps you up at night?

A lack of sleep can have adverse effects on your productivity, health, and relationships. Inadequate sleep has even been found to impair weight loss.

It’s annoying to think that the loud music your neighbor plays is what keeps you up until the wee hours of the morning. But when it’s you who is sabotaging your own chances to sleep and rest, it is somewhat more frustrating.

The fact is, stress-induced insomnia runs rampant these days because of hectic social schedules and mind-numbing responsibilities.

Instead of just going to bed to doze the night away, your mind goes haywire. You end up tense and anxious, thus overriding any ability to go into dreamland. And when you do get to sleep, it’s still a fitful kind of rest. You don’t wake up feeling refreshed, and instead go back to contemplating about what has been bothering you.

If this didn’t happen so often, it wouldn’t have been such an issue. If, however, it happens regularly or too often, then the whole thing makes sleeplessness s

Besides waking up cranky and tired, you also risk your health in the long run. A lack of sleep may effect your immune system and may cause you to become forgetful.

If that isn’t enough, your bodies metabolism will begin to slow resulting in weight gain or inability to lose weight.

What can you do to avoid this?

First, you need to get a handle on whatever issues you have.

Try to make a list of your priorities and tick off what has been done. Seeing that you have accomplished something immensely helps in reducing your stress level.

Moreover, the list will remind you that you are still in control of your life.

If you are still bothered by the number of things that you haven’t done yet, take the time to complete them at night. Instead of tossing and turning on your bed and forcing yourself to sleep when you know it is just not going to happen, use this time to do some work.

This may be your chance to shorten your list even further.

When you feel that you have finally done something worthwhile, help your body further by doing these time-tested methods:

1. Warm shower or bath before bed-This helps lower your body temperature, thus preparing you to get into the hibernation mode.

2. Try a little warm milk- If most parents have said this, then there must be some semblance of truth to it. Facts have proven that milk contains a certain acid called tryptophan. This is an amino acid that converts itself to serotonin, a chemical that makes you drowsy.

3. Exercise in the morning- As you work out, you release adrenaline which gives you energy to go through your daily activities. As the day progresses, this subsides, thus making you eventually tired.

4. Stop looking at the clock- This will only agitate you as you see time tick by.

Try dwelling on the issues in your life during the day and set them on the shelf during the night.

Sleep is what makes you function because this is your way of recharging your body with the energy it needs. You may not be aware of it, but you may be lengthening your life when you get into the habit of sleeping right.

If you plan to live a longer and healthier life, start making adequate sleep a priority in your long list of daily activities.

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