Stress has become the No 1 health enemy these days. Unfortunately, with every task and responsibility, stress seems to follow. But, feelings of stress and anxiety are not only bad for your overall mood and motivation, but your physical and mental health as well. Not to mention that heightened cortisol levels disrupt your sleep cycle, which also leads to fatigue, depression, headaches and even cardiovascular problems. After all, your body needs its time during the night to repair itself, and you need a peace of mind. It’s difficult to get rid of stress and stressful situations completely in this day and age; however, there are always ways to lower it, improve your sleep schedule, and thus, boost the quality of your life.
1. Try your best to exercise regularly
You may think that adding an exercise routine to your already busy schedule is only going to bring more stress into your life, but that definitely won’t be the case. Actually, even just 15 minutes of active exercising a day at your own home can help you lower the stress and gradually improve the quality of your sleep. Basically, physical activity successfully lowers the cortisol levels (stress hormone) and regulates your sleep schedule. It’s also worth mentioning that regular workouts boost confidence, which can help you fight against stress as well.
2. Enrich your diet with anti-stress superfoods
Certain foods can definitely help when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety. Of course, it’s not just about eating these foods but finding ways to introduce them into your meal plan and prep so that your diet is healthily and deliciously diverse, too. For instance, flaxseeds are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Oranges are rich in Vitamin C. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant. Bone broth improves gut health and at the same time relaxes your mind. Broccoli has an abundance of folic acid. All these foods can be a great source of nutrients that are very skilled in lowering cortisol, but also strengthening your immune system.
3. Supplements can actually help
Aside from a diverse and balanced diet, supplements can definitely contribute to the feelings of relaxation and calmness. And, as one may expect, the right kind of supplements tends to affect the general well-being and energy levels positively. There are many options that you can choose from, but organic products tend to work the best. That said,the benefits of Siberian Chaga mushroom extract as well as Ashwagandha herb and Valerian root are well-known and are some of the most popular supplement options for stress relief and sleep betterment today. There are also lemon balm and kava kava supplements that you may want to try out for their beneficial anti-anxiety effects.
4. Go easy on the caffeine
We all love caffeine in one form or the other. The majority of people enjoy coffee or tea, but it’s important to mention that chocolate contains caffeine as well. Coffee can be beneficial in moderation but that’s usually only true for the mornings. The reality is that most people drink coffee in the afternoon and even in the evenings, which can seriously increase the anxiety and disrupt the sleep cycle. Pay attention to how caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks) make you feel when you consume it. If you tend to get all nervous and shaky, even in the morning hours, you may want to give up caffeine for good as it probably simply isn’t for you.
5. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness
When it comes to stress relieving techniques, yoga, meditation and practicing mindfulness are definitely the activities you want to engage in. Yoga will help you become aware of your body better and teach you how to be in complete control of it; how to steady your mind. This will allow you to make the most out of your meditation sessions – even if they only last for 5 minutes a day. Don’t hesitate to get some alone time just to breathe slowly and empty your mind. Finally, taking these steps will take you closer to mindfulness. That said, try your best to observe the reality around you and live in the present moment.
Keep in mind that you also need to relax about things happening in your life if you want to minimize stress and truly get a good night’s rest. Be responsible and try to avoid procrastination, but also know that it is perfectly fine to say no and that there is no reason whatsoever for you to overwork yourself! Spend more time with your friends, family and pets, get outside and enjoy nature and smile whenever you can and want. Remember, unless it’s an actual world’s end and the sky is falling down, it’s not the end of the world!