6 Easy Ways To Help Reduce Stress TODAY

OK life can be pretty stressful – whether that’s with health worries, family worries or financial worries. But there are some things that you can do to help you reduce these stress levels.

Managing stress levels is important for your health in the long term because stress can increase the risk of developing many different chronic diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma.

It’s also worth considering that stress makes it very hard to lose weight, and you’re much more likely to store it around the middle. This is because the human body hasn’t evolved much since caveman times, when the extra energy was stored where it was most easily accessed, so it could be used to run away from the sabre-toothed tiger.

If you’re thinking you don’t fall into the ‘I’m stressed enough to be making myself ill’ category, don’t be fooled. The drip-drip-drip of everyday stress can be as damaging as major life incident-related stress (such as death and divorce), so don’t wait to take action.

stress can lead to weight gain

Here are my top 6 ways to keep stress under control

1. The 10 minute mind trick

10 minutes meditation to help reduce stress

The 10-minute mind trick: Set aside 10 minutes a day for meditation. Simply sit down in a quiet room with your back supported and eyes closed. Try to clear your mind of all worries. Don’t worry if thoughts bubble to the surface, as this is completely normal! The more you resist the more it will persist. Simply bring your attention back to your breath and continue until the time is up. If you’re new to meditation or need more support, find a guided meditation app or CD to lead you through the process.

eat regularly to help with blood sugar balance & weight

2. Eat regularly

Erratic eating times and skipping meals can lead to a dip in blood sugar levels, which leads to the release of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s difficult when routines go out the window, but try to stick to three meals (with two optional snacks) a day and your digestion will thank you for it. Base all your meals and snacks on protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and seeds), fruit and vegetables and smaller amounts of complex carbs (brown rice, wholemeal bread or pasta).

3. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine

I know it’s hard, especially when life throws you problems, but try ditching (or significantly reducing) your alcohol and caffeine intake. Caffeine causes a release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands – the last thing you want if you are already stressed! At first, alcohol might help to relax you when you’re stressed out (by promoting the release of GABA, the calming neurotransmitter), but it is quickly metabolised to sugar that can lead to a restless sleep, which leads me onto my next tip.

cut down on alcohol to reduce stress

4. Prioritise sleep

Get into a sleep routine that includes relaxing practices such as taking a warm bath with Epsom salts, light reading or stretching. Introduce a digital detox at least an hour before bed (that means no phones, no TV, no laptops or tablets), so as not to disrupt melatonin production (the sleepy hormone). A light snack such as an oatcake with almond butter or a banana may help to support undisturbed sleep

prioritse sleep to help reduce sleep and lose weight
magnesium rich foods

5. Eat magnesium-rich meals

Magnesium relaxes the nervous system and muscles so eating foods rich in this mineral, such as leafy greens, avocados, sesame seeds and spinach can help reduce stress.

root cause of stress

6. Get to the root cause:

Look at the root cause to any stress in your life, and think about how you respond to it. If the effect of stress or just general busyness gets in the way of your efforts to stay healthy and you’d like to do something about it, then feel free to download our Beating Burnout Ebook below.

You can also see our other blog post “Stress Awareness Beating Burnout” HERE

Download Your FREE "Beating Burnout" E-Book

How to cope with stress and beat the burnout
  • Supporting your body through adrenal dysregulation
  • Signs your body is under pressure
  • How does the HPA axis work?
  • Fight or flight?
  • Identifying stressors
  • Your recharge plan

Try Our Stress Support Recipes

7 day stress support meal plan

Iron

Low iron is a known contributor to anxiety and depression. This plan contains great iron sources like beef, liver, and sausage. These iron sources are paired with foods that have vitamin C to enhance iron absorption.

Fibre

Fibre is an important nutrient to reduce anxiety. It helps to balance blood sugar and feeds gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which can decrease anxiety. Fibre can be found in this plan from whole grains, legumes, seeds, and cruciferous vegetables.

This 7 day stress support meal plan was created with four major nutrients in mind:

Magnesium

Research shows magnesium plays a role in migraines and depression. Emerging data suggests magnesium can help with chronic pain and anxiety. Many people do not reach their daily recommended intake of magnesium through diet, which is why this meal plan provides over 500 milligrams per day of magnesium from whole foods.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is effective when combined with magnesium in adults with severe stress. Women who consume more vitamin B6 are less likely to experience anxiety. A low B6 status may also increase panic attacks. Getting enough vitamin B6 through diet can support the body during stress and reduce anxiety. This plan incorporates vitamin B6 from many foods including chickpeas, poultry, bananas, and squash.

 

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