Less Stress: How do we achieve it?

We are all leading stressful lives.  How do we achieve less stress? Sleep is key in my book.  Here’s why! Sleep allows our body time to revitalize itself.  Most people are leading busy and complicated lives, lucky if they get 6 hours of restful sleep. This leaves us at a deficit first thing in the morning and feeling tired throughout the day. Aim for 7-8 hrs or feeling rested and ready to go when you wake up.

Stress is all around us, it is hard to get away from it.  From the time we were in grade school and having to present in front of the class, to our first piano recital we all have to do things we find stressful.  We each need to find ways that helps us to unwind and recharge, whether it is walks in nature, meditation, or a massage, we need help to relax when we are stressed. What works for one does not necessarily work for another.

Lack of sleep will cause you to store fat, slow down your metabolism, cause cravings for unhealthy food choices, and lowers your energy. Explore natural ways to relax so that you can get a more restful sleep.

Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals required by our bodies. It is responsible for over 300 different reactions in order for our body to function properly. Insomnia, sleep disorders, fatigue, tension, stress, headaches, low energy are just a few of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.  Start with 400mg of this mineral at bedtime to help relax you for better sleep and increase as needed.

Lack of sleep will also reduce your leptin levels that signal the brain that you are full and increase your ghrelin levels which stimulate appetite instead. The opposite of what you really want when you are trying to focus on a healthy eating plan.

If something is stressing you out, learn to give yourself some space, walk away for a few minutes, take deep breaths and count to 10, do whatever it takes to distance yourself enough to get a break from stress.

Try a few minutes of physical activity, 10-20 minutes is enough to get your stress hormone (cortisol) down. Exercise has been shown to calm your stress and give you time for contemplation and resolution to any problem you are working through.

Stress comes from feeling hopeless.  So staying positive is imperative to beating the stressful blues.  Lose the negativity and redirect your thinking whenever something that begins with I can’t, I’ll never, even I want this…BUT… change it around to stay positive. We can only do our best.

Stress comes from not feeling supported.  We can alleviate some of our stress by being around someone we trust, being part of a caring family or caring community are valuable as well. So call up that best friend or cousin, whoever you feel you can trust and have a little heart to heart and see how good you feel.

The faster you resolve your stress the better it is for your health.  Long term stress is the killer.  It causes oxidation, free radicals generated in the mitochondria, causes things in the cell to slow down, damaging your cell’s only source of energy. In order to counteract this damage, we need to flood our body with nutrients, rich in antioxidant properties in order to build up faster than our body can break down.

I will cover the four main antioxidants I feel you should definitely have in your healthy plan and why… so stay tuned!

Keep smiling!