Life moves so fast that sometimes you have to just slow down and take a moment to think about what truly matters in life. As parents, and working professionals we learn to put home life, work life and others before ourselves and after a while your body and mind can really start to show the signs of stress. The good thing is that we can learn to recognize common body stress triggers and replace good habits that can hopefully replace any of the bad habits that we haven't yet kicked. Behaviour experts tell us, that even the smallest changes can make big impacts and incorporating these small tips can help you get on the right path to making big changes towards good health and overall well-being.
1) Let's Talk About Your Stress Levels + What Happens To Your Body
When you get stressed what happens is you start to feel common Acute Stress symptoms that can be described as a reactionary trigger, when you are under a lot of stress your adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol that causes your heart rate to speed up, blood pressure rises which then send more signals to your liver to release glucose and increases more blood flow to muscles. These flight responses can leave you feeling even more restless and frustrated to the point where you are not able to think clearly and it causes you to get more angry and less able to control your emotions. Some people rage through a fight/flight response and of course those responses can leave you feeling more down about yourself and ultimately lead to Chronic Stress symptoms. Chronic stress is a game changer and can wreck havoc on your whole body, it can cause high blood pressure problems, lower your fertility, and weaken your immune system. It can also create some serious heart and stomach problems such as abnormal heartbeat, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, heart failure and increases your risks for a stroke and heart attack.
2) Learn How To Effectively Manage Your Stress
Although it may be hard to remember to try these tips out when your are experiencing a bad day, try remembering what stress does to your overall health. Stress increases a hormone cortisol which increases blood sugar, stores fat, is toxic to neurons and suppresses immunity. Your overall health and mind are just too important not to give them a try. Next time your are having a less than favourable day try removing yourself from the situation and walk it out. Remember to breathe it out, give yourself a moment and opportunity to control the situation effectively. If you need some alone time to think and sort out your feelings definitely take that time out to put things back into perspective.
3) Work Out Smarter (Not Harder)
Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine actually causes your Pituitary glands to release endorphins that can help with easing anxiety. Besides helping you feel much more happier, fitness experts tell us, that if we all made small lifestyle changes, such as setting aside time to do at least 3 sessions of 10-30 minutes per week that even with short and intense workouts - it still will provide us with improved athletic capacity and a healthy metabolism. Best of all it is as equally fat burning as being on the treadmill for an hour. You can incorporate reminders right from your mobiles, or tablets to book your workouts on your calendar and to set a phone reminder to reinforce that they are just as important as other obligations.
4) Minimize Blood Sugar Spikes
Rapid absorption of carbohydrates will lead to quick increases in blood sugar. Your body responds by releasing insulin which lowers blood sugar levels, but is also responsible for fat storage as well as making you feel fatigued. You can reduce the risk of a stroke and heart attack and also reduce many other future chronic diseases by eating smaller, more frequent meals - doing so will decrease how much carbohydrates you absorb at once. Another great step is to change from eating simple sugars present in white flour and sweets to low-glycemic complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes that get absorbed slower. Eating foods with high fiber will result in even less absorption and are healthy for the gut. Remember to avoid eating too many carbohydrates and sugar laden-drinks such as soda and concentrated juices which allow you to consume too many simple sugars in a short amount of time causing major insulin spikes that can't be good for your long-term health.
5) Recharge Yourself + Get More Rest
Maximize your REM Sleep, getting enough REM sleep is a crucial part of a good night's rest. The benefits of being well-rested can help aide in weight loss, lower diabetes and heart risks, and it can help reduce stress levels and help fewer mood swings. Disrupting your REM cycle leaves you feeling groggy regardless when the alarm goes off. Waking up at the same time everyday can help you naturally fall into a proper sleep cycle - even on the weekends you will get sleepy at night at the time to optimize deep sleep over time. Avoid drinking alcohol 2 hours before bedtime, alcohol affects the rhythm of sleep and acts as a sedative at first but often a few hours later when your blood alcohol level drops your body won't be able to get that deep sleep you deserve. Be sure to stay clear of mobile phones, computers, and tablets at least 60 minutes before sleepy time - although it may be hard not to avoid checking emails before bed, make a checklist and move on - the led lights from screens reduces your melatonin and makes it harder to fall asleep especially if you are thinking about all the things you need to do tomorrow.