How To Effectively Manage Stress

 

We humans need exactly the right amount of stress to function correctly. Too little, and we become bored and restless. Too much, and we can quickly become overwhelmed, and experience all the symptoms that come with stress like irritability, problems focusing and the ever-present rising panic.

 

If you are struggling with too much stress, there are a few things that you can do to help you to manage it.

Eating Right

The food we fuel ourselves with is integral to how we manage stress. If we are getting all of the nutrients that we need, then this helps to boost our immune system and manage levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body.

 

Some foods that help with stress are:

 

     Complex carbohydrates like whole-grain bread, pasta and oatmeal help with stress because they encourage steady production of serotonin, and they also help to balance blood sugar levels which help us to feel more balanced.

     Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, like oranges, have been shown in some studies to help cortisol levels return to normal more quickly after a stressful event.

     Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale help to keep your magnesium levels up, which combat headaches and fatigue, which can also be symptoms of stress.

     Black Tea has been shown to help regulate cortisol levels by some studies.

Sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is key to our wellbeing. When we are well-rested, we are better able to solve problems and regulate our emotions, plus we just feel better!

 

No matter how busy you are, it is important to prioritize sleep. Be sure to stick to the same sleep routine every day (even at the weekend) as this will help to tell your body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be awake. It is also a good idea to ban electronic devices from the bedroom, as the screens can interfere with the production of sleep hormones and keep you awake.

Coaching

Making positive changes, like improving your diet and sleep are not easy. And what about the actual causes of the stress in your life? Probably the most important thing you can do if you are stressed and it has been ongoing for a long time is to work out why and do something about it. Perhaps you need to think about a career change, or you need help with managing difficult family members.

 

Coaches can be valuable in helping you to identify which changes would be beneficial to your life and helping you to make those changes in a way that is manageable for you. Integrative Coaching at https://integrativecoaching.co.za/professional-coaching/stress-management/ can provide you with tested stress management techniques as well, that have been effective on other clients and are based on research.

Exercise

Gentle exercise triggers the release of endorphins which contribute to happiness and also helps to regulate your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Plus, exercise will help you to stay healthy, which will contribute to your overall wellbeing level.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are effective at helping to manage stress because they enable you to focus on what is happening right now, rather than focusing on the things that you are worried about. It is something that takes practice, but once you get the hang of it can be incredibly valuable in helping you to manage stress.

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