A simple one-syllable word can do a lot of damage to your body and your mood. Stress.
Stress seems to be epidemic today. Many factors can feed it: world events, financial worries, job insecurity, family illnesses, work overload, children, traffic or just simply life’s daily issues.
These stressors can worsen high blood pressure and cholesterol levels; increase back pain, headaches and stomachaches; aggravate allergies; suppress the immune system; cause sleep problems and fatigue; impair mental judgment and memory; and make you cranky, nervous, sad and depressed. Long-term, stress can age your body and leave you more vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
But you can fight back and send stress packing. Try these 10 tips to better manage your stress and find happier, calmer days ahead.
- Practice positive self-talk. When negative thoughts creep in your mind, turn them around to be more positive. Think: “I can handle this.” Or “One step at a time.” Or “Some day I’ll laugh about this.
- Just breathe. In a stressful situation, stop and take several deep breaths before speaking or reacting.
- Walk it off quietly. Take a daily walk in a quiet place rather than a noisy, busy sidewalk if possible. Nature walks are even better.
- Seek happiness. Make a conscious effort to hug loved ones frequently, smile at people more and appreciate beautiful scenes in nature whenever possible.
- One ball at a time. Chronic multi-tasking is a direct pathway to stress. Do one thing at a time and just focus on that. Don’t try to balance your checkbook, make dinner and help your child with homework all at the same time. Nothing is done well that way anyhow.
- Treat yourself. When stress strikes, take a break and do something you enjoy such as reading, calling a friend, listening to music, or just watching a favorite movie. Try to do at least one enjoyable thing every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Taking time just for you is important self-care. It’s OK to do nothing once in a while.
- Get moving. If a vigorous run or heart-pumping kickboxing is more your style, go for it. Any form of exercise helps relieve stress. It eliminates the stress hormones coursing through your body and combats anxiety. Or focus on daily relaxation in the form of deep breathing, yoga, tai chi or meditation.
- Hush-a-bye. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep — seven to eight hours is ideal — every night. Being rested helps you better handle anything life throws your way and prevents irritability and overreactions.
- Be prepared with the right snacks. When stress eating rears its ugly head, have healthy snacks handy. While some people lose their appetite under stress, many others are driven to high-carb, high-fat comfort foods like chips, ice cream or greasy burgers. The guilt from the overindulgence will only add to your stress level. Be prepared by keeping healthier alternatives in stock. Relivables® Soy Nuts satisfy the urge to munch in a low-sodium, non-fried way. Relivables® Healthy Snack Bars are also a guilt-free sweet treat with Pycnogenol®, healthy soy protein and fiber, and no high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats.
- Shore up your diet. Plan healthy meals rich in fruits and vegetables, along with B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, which are known stress-reducers. Nutritional products such as Reliv Classic® and Reliv Now® provide a full range of stress-fighting vitamins, minerals, herbs and other vital nutrients. When you’re on the go, slip ready-to-drink 24K™ in your bag as a potent source of stress-relieving ingredients including B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, Gama Aminobutryric Acid (GABA) and Valerian Root. This convenient drink packs 24 health-promoting ingredients that address the triple-threat of fatigue, mental fog and stress. 24K is also caffeine-free so you can take it anytime, anywhere with no jitters. Just clear, calming energy and focus.