How To Lower Your Stress By Changing Your Diet & Lifestyle

Stress will affect most of us at some point, as the pace of modern life continues to get faster and pressures from work increase

Stress will affect most of us at some point, as the pace of modern life continues to get faster and pressures from work increase. However, there are many ways that we can reduce the amount of stress in our lives. Here, we focus on was you can adapt your diet and lifestyle to lower stress levels.

Comfort eating

CookiesA boost in serotonin levels through eating comfort food can offer a calming effect, which can help in the short term to reduce stress. However, resorting to comfort food too often can actually be counter productive, as comfort foods tend to be high in fat and sugar. In order to combat stress effectively, a healthy, balanced diet is required.

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This article offers advice on recognising emotional eating and changing your habits.

Eat superfoods
AvocadoA balanced diet will help to improve your immune system and therefore reduce stress levels, but there are a few superfoods that have been linked to lowering stress levels. Asparagus contains folic acid, low levels of which has been linked with depression; and feelings of anxiety have been linked to low levels of vitamin B, which is found in avocado. This article offers plenty more ideas on stress busting foods.

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By the same token, it's a good idea to avoid foods that can induce stress. These can include foods that contain caffeine; fast foods and takeaways with low nutritional value; and sodas and soft drinks. These foods are fine in moderation, but shouldn't be consumed too often, and are definitely best avoided when you're feeling stressed. This article offers some more information on foods to avoid.

Exercise regularly
ExerciseAs well as helping to improve your immune system, exercise works as an immediate stress reliever. It boosts your endorphin levels, distracts you from whatever has worried you during the day, and can help with sleep problems. This article explains further how exercise can reduce stress, and take a look here to find out how much exercise is recommended per week. Figure out why you're stressed The most effective way to reduce stress in your life is to identify the stress inducing factors, and figure out how to deal with them. Keeping a journal is a good place to start, as you can read back over your entries and look for trends. This article offers some great advice on identifying stress factors and approaching stress management in a new way. A lot of stress can be avoided simply by understanding it and confronting it. For example, money worries are often best tackled by organising your finances and keeping a budget, because then you will know that however tight money is, at least you know where you stand. By the same token, if your stresses are due to work and time commitments, consider Image credit: Oleg Klementiev

creating a daily schedule - this will make you more efficient, you will spend less time having to think what you need to do and you will be able to make time for things like yoga and exercise!

About The Author
This guest post was written by Jesse Andrews, a nutrition expert who works for Seven Seas (find them here) and who loves nothing more than running outdoors and eating salad... ok, and the occasional pizza, but the key is moderation :)

Posted in 2014

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