Do you feel constantly under pressure? Always needing to be in the next meeting , replying to the next email? Today’s work environment means most of us are under a pretty constant state of low level stress.
Stress is a natural response to challenging situations, but it’s important to understand how it affects your body and mind and in turn your performance throughout the day, and your sleep at night.
When you encounter a stressful situation, your brain triggers the “fight or flight” response. Your body reacts by increasing your heart rate and breathing, adrenaline and cortisol are released to give you a burst of energy and focus. This would be great if you were trying to run away from danger, like our ancestors did.
However, chronic stress can have serious negative effects on your health. It can weaken your immune system, increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, and even impact your mental health.
Luckily we can help mitigate the negative effects of stress on the body, even if we can’t change our lifestyle dramatically.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try incorporating some of these stress-busting strategies into your routine:
- Eat a balanced, real food diet: Eating a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods can help support your overall health and reduce stress. Focus on foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, like fresh or tinned vegetables or fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Start with breakfast – the first meal of the day making sure it’s high in protein and has a balance of protein and healthy fats and fibre e.g. eggs and spinach or kale, yoghurt with berries and seeds.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help you manage stress and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety and have you reaching for sugary foods and caffeing which are counter productive for managing stress. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you unwind before sleep.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is a great way to manage stress and boost your mood. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day, such as brisk walking or cycling.
If you’d like to work with me to manage the impact stress has on your body, book your complementary introductory call to learn more