Zapping Stress Naturally
April is Stress Awareness Month, which reminds us that many people face chronic stress on a
daily basis without realizing the toll it can take on their wellness over time. In fact, stress may
contribute to a host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insomnia,
ulcers, depression, eating disorders and more.
There are many types of stressors. Along with illness and injury, a poor diet, certain drugs,
environmental toxins, and chemicals in our food and water are all physical stressors which
create free radical damage to cells and tax vital organs.
Emotional stressors include relationship issues, money problems, work and/or school
pressures, and more. We can’t eliminate all the stressors we face, but we can at least mitigate
their negative effects with our daily lifestyle choices. Until you can retire to a relaxing tropical
island, these tips can help:
Eat fresh, whole foods daily
Processed/refined/junk foods typically contain unhealthy preservatives and additives, and
refined sugar is a nutrient-depleting energy sapper, which can make you more vulnerable to
stress. Minimizing these items is a very smart move. Instead, target fresh, organic produce,
amino-acid rich whey protein, grass fed/organic meats, poultry, and dairy items, free-range
eggs, safe seafood, beans/legumes, and nuts/seeds. Steer clear of all refined flour products if
Avoid excessive caffeine
It’s a catch 22, because many people find that the more stress they face, the more they’re
inclined to reach for coffee and other forms of caffeine to “get them through.” And yet, too much
caffeine is in itself a stressor, draining your adrenal glands and promoting excess cortisol in your
system. If you’re a “javaholic,” start replacing coffee gradually with antioxidant-rich green tea.
Drink in moderation
While alcohol may seem to relax you, too much can impair your wellness in many ways, while
also dehydrating your system and interfering with healthy sleep. If you imbibe daily, be sure to
add a glass of water for every cocktail you consume, and by all means, replace the vitamins
depleted by alcohol, which include vitamin C and folic acid, among others.
Incorporate stress busting nutrients
Whatever the cause, being under stress depletes important nutrients, which can lead to
other problems. You can protect yourself by increasing your intake of essential nutrients,
starting with a daily multi-vitamin/mineral formula. You should also emphasize B-complex
nutrients, antioxidants, and CoQ10, which helps to improve energy production─among other
benefits─boosting your ability to withstand stress.
Work it out
Exercise is one of the most effective tools to manage feelings of overwhelm, in more ways than
one. Along with blowing off steam, getting fit and trim is energizing, and boosts well-being and
confidence. Fitness is also a fabulous natural anecdote to depression!
Again, stress is inevitable; it’s how you cope with it that counts. Fortunately, healthy lifestyle
tactics can effectively boost your resilience along the way.