Simple Daily Behaviorals Can Reduce Stress
There are so many ways to de-stress. I have been giving you suggestions that you can do in 10 minutes or less. Here are a few more. It is important to be aware of many different techniques so you can pull one out of your tool kit for any situation. You can check my previous posts for the complete list of ideas. Eat a Nutrient Dense Snack
If you are a person that skips meals because you are too busy to eat – having a healthy snack or meal might make all the difference. When we skip meals it causes our body to release stress hormones to keep use alert and active.
Or maybe you are eating foods high in sugar, fat, fast foods and highly processed foods.. These options send our blood sugars and insulin levels reeling which causes our stress hormones to come into play.
Sometimes the way to reduce stress is to eat balanced meals at least 3-6 times per day. What are the foods that will keep us healthy and balanced – in two words - Whole Foods! Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, lean proteins – red meats, white meats, fish, poultry or diary products are all whole foods. These foods stabilize our blood sugar and insulin levels which keep us calm and reduce our stress response.
Let me be clear I’m not suggesting that you eat to stuff your feelings. I’m suggesting that if you have poor eating habits or skip meals it might be making you stressed.
Take a Sip of Water
Our bodies are made of 70% water! We need to stay hydrated all the time. If you are not drinking water throughout the day, you could be experiencing feelings of dehydration. It can manifest itself in physical symptoms that can include increasing your blood pressure or giving you a headache. Both of these are stressful emotionally and physically. How much water is a good amount of water to drink? I recommend ½ your body weight in ounces. So if you are 150 pounds you need to drink 75 ounces of water every day.
Meditation is by far one of my favorite ways to de-stress. Many of my patients get a look of stress or terror when I bring this up as an option. I find that most people don’t think they can mediate because they don’t really understand the purpose of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to decrease the number of thoughts that are running around in our heads. We can have upwards of 60,000 thoughts in a day. Sometimes it feels like they are all there in the same moment! When we focus our attention on the present moment, we slow down the number of thoughts in our heads. This often reduces the worry, negative talk and destructive thoughts that provoke the stress hormones and their physical and mental response. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, suggests that we can mediate anywhere doing anything. He teaches us how sitting, walking or even doing dishes can be a meditation as long as we are focusing on breath and positive thoughts.
Dr. Daemon Jones