Image by: Global Panorama
By MacKenzie Nelson-Greene
You own your own business, or you have a boss that places a lot of pressure on you. Your classes are getting out of control, and now time is becoming an issue. The kids need to get to tennis practice, and you have to be at work early tomorrow.
So many factors in our lives add to the stress we feel throughout the day. We have heard all of our lives that stress is a killer. Stress ages you, and raises your blood pressure. Stress can lead to depression and various other health issues.
No matter how much stress you have in your life, you need to know that you have the control to lower it with diet and exercise. Don’t stop reading just yet, because there are some great stress relievers available to you that are fun, easy, and can fit into your busy schedule.
If your life is filled with deadlines, or you have a lot riding on every move you make, check out these four ways you can keep your body healthy during your normal stressful routine.
#1) Good Mood Foods
Your body wants to feel better, and this can cause you to have certain food cravings—the bad kind of food cravings. Add this to the fact that you don’t have a lot of time in the mornings or afternoons or evenings to focus on your menu, so you just open up the fridge or pantry and grab the nearest thing that only requires unwrapping, or you just stop somewhere on the way to your next appointment.
Yikes! Your body can go downhill rapidly when you reach for sugary snacks and things to hold you over until the next meal—which might just end up being a frozen entrée.
It’s time to get your body focused on the good mood foods. Foods that are high in Omega-3’s, such as salmon; foods that are high in potassium, such as avocados and bananas; and foods that are high in iron and Vitamin C, such as oranges and spinach will help your body relieve stress while they keep you healthy through your most stressful times!
#2) Quick Tips to Defuse
If you find yourself getting so worked up that you don’t know what thing to be most angry about, and your head is swimming with all of the things you have to do, it is time to give yourself five minutes. A five minute break is possible for nearly every kind of stressful situation.
By stopping the superhighway of stressful information your body is going through, you can release the traffic jam of information and focus on solving one problem at a time.
The best way to do this is to give yourself five minutes to find your breath and clear your mind. There are a couple of yoga poses that help you with this.
First, get on the floor in your office and do child’s pose. To complete this pose effectively, you sit back on your knees, and extend you’re your spine and arms forward, tucking your head down. According to Magda Rod of Care2.com, “It lengthens the spine and calms the mind and invigorates the body.” This is a great way to keep your mind clear, and keep your body healthy in the middle of your work day.
Another pose you can try is corpse pose. Sometimes the day just attacks you, and you need to play dead. Lay on your back and relax your legs apart as well as your arms. Concentrate solely on your breathing. Listen to the sounds of your heart and your breath. Even if you are in the middle of a crazy day, you need to exercise mental health in order to keep your entire body healthy.
By taking five minutes to focus on something other than the stress in your life, you will reduce your stress and blood pressure dramatically. You may even rise to find that you have an epiphany on a project you have been killing yourself over for months.
#3) Release Extra Energy
I’m about to use the C-word, so don’t get angry with me ladies. Thirty minutes of cardio a day can really help you relieve the stress in your life.
However, it does so much more than that. Cardio (even if you start at fifteen minutes per day) can help you strengthen your heart, circulatory system, and your lungs. So, hop on that treadmill, go for a power walk, or get your jump rope out for a spin.
Additionally, if you haven’t tried it before, getting all of your aggression out on the elliptical can really make you feel better throughout the day.
#4) Ditch the Stimulants
Sorry, girls, you’re going to have to wean yourself off of your pacifier (also known as your coffee mug). Coffee and caffeine is a stimulant that can raise your blood pressure and actually make stressful situations feel more stressful.
Additionally, when you are feeling stressed out, your body starts sending you signals, and you begin to crave sweet foods and calorie- or carb-packed dinners. You tell yourself you deserve it, because you have had a stressful day, but in the end, these foods can make you feel more sluggish, which ultimately leads to more coffee.
Get off the cycle of the bad stuff, and start drinking green tea, which will naturally calm you while it cleans out your body.
Ditch the carb and calorie packed snacks for high protein snacks to give you more natural energy while they work to sharpen your mind.
You can’t control the fact that your life is stressful, but you can keep a healthy lifestyle while you tackle every busy day that you have. Be sure to pay close attention to your diet and exercise. Stay calm throughout the day to help you keep your blood pressure low. Make sure you ditch the stimulants to help you keep yourself even and mellow throughout the day. How do you stay healthy with your stressful lifestyle? Share with us in the comments below!