Stress – The body’s way of responding to life’s demands. While necessary for our survival, in modern times stress has become one of society’s main health challenges contributing to a raft of health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, hypertension, obesity, anxiety, depression and even cancer. Short term, stress is great for helping us to make split decisions to ensure our survival but being chronically stressed from an over-demanding job, relationship or life situation can start to have a hugely detrimental impact on your health.
Stress can begin to manifest with symptoms like headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, an upset stomach, change in appetite, difficulty concentrating, weight gain or weight loss, irritability, and premature ageing.
Whilst it is impossible to remove stress from your life altogether there are some tips and changes you can make to help your body better cope with stress.
- Make sleep a priority. Insomnia and sleep often feed each other creating a vicious cycle of sleeplessness, anxiety and fatigue. Ensure that you are getting 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep each night to help regulate your cortisol (stress hormone) levels and support your body’s repair processes.
- Keep hydrated. Dehydration decreases cardiac output which leads to less blow flow and oxygen for the brain, making you feel fatigued and stressed out. Aim to drink 2-3 litres of good quality water each day to help keep alert, focused and stress-free.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking might seem like the best way to power through your to-do list but it can actually decrease productivity and increase your stress. Rather than hurriedly trying to do 10 things at once try focusing on one task at a time.
- Eat regularly. This will help keep your blood sugar levels steady and prevent fatigue, headaches and stress caused by low glucose levels. Eat well-balanced, nutrient-dense meals and snacks and try to avoid consuming too much sugar and caffeine.
- Just breathe. If you feel yourself getting stressed take a minute to do some deep breathing to calm your nervous system and bring you back into a state of balance. If you have the time, meditation or a short walk outdoors are great ways to bring down cortisol levels. Stress can result in high levels of cortisol being produced in the body, which can dysregulate our sleep hormones. Specific nutrients such as vitamin C and magnesium can help support high levels of cortisol in the body, which is why our product Essential Sleep and Stress Nutrients contains vitamin C and magnesium to not only support deep, restorative sleep but also to support your stress levels.
Lastly, learn to go with the flow. Stress is often self-inflicted from expectations and demands we put on ourselves. Go easy on yourself and let go of things that are outside your control. You’ll be a much happier, stress-free person without the worries of the world on your shoulders.
Feel free to call us on 0800 345 999 for a free 15-minute sleep consultation with a qualified Sleep Specialist to see if Essential Sleep and Stress Nutrients is right for you.