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'Tis The Season For Some Stress

How To Handle Chronic Stress

By M.L. LewisPublished about a year ago 3 min read

November 2nd is National Stress Awareness Day. Stress happens when the body feels the presence of a threat, challenge, or barrier of some kind. When faced with anything of that nature, the body fights it off by increasing adrenaline and cortisol in order to help your insides cope. 55% of Americans experience it daily, making us the most stressed-out country in the world. 46% of those cases are work-related while 20% of them come from a personal issue. Stress can make a chronic condition like diabetes worse, weaken the immune system, cause tension in muscles, and negatively affect your digestion, just to name a few. Here is some unique way to relieve stress when you see red.

*Over The Counter Treatments

When feeling stressed out, the last thing you’ll want to do is make a doctor’s appointment or seat in an overcrowded Urgent Care waiting room. Don’t worry, there are many over-the-counter treatments available to cure your stress. Flavored bitters, like cinnamon, can be applied directly to the tongue or mixed into sparkling water. Ashwagandha Extract is an herb from India that has a long history of stress relief. Valerian root, when paired with passion flower, can have quite a calming effect on your body. Tulsi, or holy basil, is a powerful antioxidant that promotes ultimate relaxation. Curcumin is commonly found in turmeric roots. It can reverse brain changes caused by chronic stress. Lemon Balm can reduce anxiety by balancing your adrenals and improve on daily sleep.

*Eating Away Your Problems

Even though it is not a good idea to eat over your recommended daily calorie count, food can be a great stress reliever in moderation. Matcha is high in L-Theanine, which is a non-protein amino acid with powerful stress relief properties. A leafy green called Swiss Chard has high levels of magnesium, which is used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Organ meats such as the liver and kidneys contain Vitamin B which is used to produce dopamine and serotonin. Acerola cherry powder is the most concentrated source of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been linked to elevating mood and decreasing levels of depression and anger. Eggs are nature’s multivitamin and contain many healthy ingredients such as choline, which play an important role in brain health and protect you against stress.

*Let’s Get Physical

Nothing helps protect you from stress quite like a healthy heart. Studies show that exercise can lower stress by 65%. Walking can boost your endorphins, putting you into a meditative state. Running can improve your sleep and give you some quiet time to think about personal issues. Bicycling improves your oxygen intake and can lower your blood pressure by improving blood circulation. Swimming is another great exercise that can help your heart, while also increasing muscle development by adding resistance training to your routine. Boxing not only burns stress, but you can also burn off pent-up anger. Stretch exercises, like Yoga, are considered the gold standard for stress relief exercises by boosting your brain’s overall health through relaxation techniques.

Tackling Stress Creatively

Art is the most powerful stress reliever out there. It can be so effective that therapists are using it to treat mental illnesses like PTSD. You don’t need fancy equipment to take part in art, just a few basic supplies, and a creative spirit. Coloring is a fun and simple way to relax as it brings back nostalgic feelings of your youth. Drawing or painting can help the body develop a mental rest, leading to happiness. Pottery projects can lower your heart rate and blood pressure is likely elevated due to stress. The rhythm of knitting helps release calming serotonin into the bloodstream. Doing any craft in general can increase your brain’s problem-solving ability and help develop better attention skills.

Organizing Your Stress Away

For me, most stress is caused by poor time management skills. Once you get your life organized, the stress will simply melt away. First, establish a daily routine by getting up, eating meals, performing tasks, and going to bed at the same time, even when off. Clean a room a day to keep up with household cleaning. Break down extensive projects into smaller ones in something I call the To-Do Journal. A To-Do Journal breaks down your extensive projects into small goals and organizes them into categories. Each page is dedicated to that category. For example, one page could be books you want to read, and we can dedicate another to movies and shows you want to watch on Netflix. Doing this makes your goals more visible and manageable by showing what needs to be done and where.

*Disclaimer: Before taking anything over the counter, changing your diet, or starting a new exercise, please consult your doctor to see if you can do so safely.

advicefeaturehealthhow toself care

About the Creator

M.L. Lewis

Welcome to my little slice of pie. This blog will primarily focus on prepping and homesteading skills with a sprinkle of fiction every now and then.

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