By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods
September 2nd, 2014
Most people feel there is nothing they can do to reduce the amount of stress in their lives, impossibly full schedules, driving in traffic, financial problems, arguments with a spouse, and caring for loved ones. Day in and day out demands take a toll on our health. While reducing stress factors in your life is ideal, it is often just not possible. So, I would like to give you 5 fast and easy ways to combat the negative effect stress has on our bodies.
1. Eat - Well, I said it would be fast and easy, but we forget to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day in order to keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level. Too often when we do eat, we will often forgo healthy choices for what seems like faster ones. Having an apple in your car is actually faster than driving through a fast food restaurant. A little pre-planning can save tons of time, hassles and calories.
2. Supplements - Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rhodiola and B-Complex vitamins can all help the body adjust and respond to stress while increasing energy.
3. Exercise - Consider not only the typical weight training and cardio workouts, but yoga is a fabulous form of exercise that studies show will reduce an exaggerated stress response and also combat anxiety and depression.
4. Laugh - Laughter decreases stress hormones and reduces physical tension. Your muscles will remain relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh, and it also increases endorphins producing an overall sense of well being. Don’t take life too seriously - laugh it off sometimes; it could save your health.
5. Sleep - When we don’t get enough sleep our bodies are much more sensitive to stress and have a harder time recovering from stressful events. This leads to higher cortisol levels at night and that makes it very hard to sleep! It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be turned around. Make getting enough rest a priority, and go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.
For more information about ways to combat the negative effect stress has on our health or other health topics, come visit us at the Sunflower Shoppe, where great health is just a way of life!
The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.