We’ve all been stressed before. Stress can be caused by a number of events, often stacked on top of each other. However, stress can be easily handled as long as we take the correct steps. Here are the top three ways to reduce stress: foods, supplements, and easy activities.
Top 10 Foods
Water – It’s important to stay hydrated to reduce stress! The average person should drink half their body weight in ounces (example: a 150 lb person should drink 75 oz. a day)
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – The brain is 80% water. The remaining 20% is fat. Eat foods high in Omega 3, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and salmon, to help the brain handle stress.
Green Tea – Green tea is great for the body and the brain. L-theanine can calm anxiety and stress.
Whole Grains – The B vitamins found in whole grains nourish the nervous system, helping you keep calm in stressful situations.
Greens – Greens such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and leafy greens are high in magnesium that helps balance out the stress hormone Cortisol.
Carrots – Not only does the simple act of munching on carrots and other crunchy vegetables lower stress, they are also nutrient-rich. Carrots can be an answer to food cravings without taking on too many extra calories.
Nuts – Raw nuts are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and zinc which boost up your immune system. They can help fight back against the exhausting effect of stress.
Yogurt – Another great alternative to giving into sweet food cravings is yogurt. Instead of choosing ice cream, reach for yogurt; it’s filled with great vitamins and minerals.
Whole Grain Pretzels – Whole grain snacks like pretzels or crackers contain fiber and satisfy carb cravings. They also offer an energy boost and trigger serotonin.
Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate offers another way to stop sweet food cravings. While you will still want to watch how much you eat, dark chocolate can reduce levels of stress hormones and release serotonin.
Top 10 Supplements
Magnesium – Calms the muscles and nerves the body and helps you sleep.
Trace Minerals – Electrolytes that help with daily energy and help keep the heart rate at a good pace. If you’re lacking trace minerals, you may be more easily stressed.
Vitamins B & C – Vitamin B can help a stressed person with their nervous system. Vitamin C boosts their immune system.
L-Theanine in Green Tea – L-theanine is a natural relaxant. Start your morning with a cup of Matcha. Even though it has greater levels of caffeine than sencha, it also has more L-theanine.
Lavender – The smell of lavender can often be a stress reliever. It can be taken in the form of a pill, tea, or essential oil.
Holy Basil – This herb regulates cortisol in the body. Prolonged stress can create too much cortisol, holy basil can help level out the effects.
Valerian – Valerian can calm tight muscles and keep you asleep at night. It is often used to defend against anxiety and excitability.
Passion Flower – Use this herb to calm anxiety and nerves in stressful situations. It can also help with sleep issues.
Kava Kava – Has a calming effect on the musculature. It can be taken as a tea or pill. It shouldn’t be used on a long term basis. Do not use with alcohol or if you have liver issues.
Chamomile Tea – Chamomile can be used to calm the nerves after a stressful day. It can also be used to calm an upset stomach.
Top 10 Activities
Listen to Music – Singing can relieve stress. Research shows music in general can help reduce stress. Listen to classical, light, or fun music, sing or dance along, and you will feel much better.
Laugh – Laughter is the best medicine! It can reduce the physical effects of stress. Take a day to listen and tell jokes or funny story.
Spark Some Scents – Aroma therapy can be a great way to relieve stress. Certain aromas (like lavender) have been shown to reduce stress.
Drink Green Tea – The act of making green tea, powered or brewed, can lower post-stress cortisol levels and help with relaxation.
Deep Breathing – Deep breathing is one of the easiest activities to do in the workplace. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. Try to get some fresh air and take about 10 deep breaths before putting yourself back into a stressful situation.
Chew Gum – Chewing gum has been shown to lower cortisol levels in stressed people.
Exercise – Exercise can be a great stress reducer, especially if you enjoy the activity. The post exercise endorphin rush sharply cuts stress.
Take a Nap – Napping reduces cortisol levels, aiding in stress relief. Try to take a 10-20 minute nap, these are the most effective and won’t get in the way of your productivity.
Progressive Relaxation – From the fingers to the toes, tense and release each muscle group. When the body is relaxed, the brain is sure to follow.
Prayer/Meditation – Mental silence that goes with meditation may have a positive effect on stress.
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Meet the Author: Kiyomi
Featured Image Courtesy of Nature’s Pantry. La Grande, Oregon