Home Mental Health & Wellness Blog Coping with Stress: Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for Better Health

Coping with Stress: Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for Better Health

Mind & Mood 12 Jun, 2024
By David Clarke

Stress is inevitable in our daily lives, but its impact on our health and well-being is often underestimated. Chronic stress can lead to serious health issues, making it crucial to find effective ways to manage it.

What’s Wrong with Chronic Stress?

Any level of stress triggers the same physiological response, releasing the stress hormone cortisol. While this response helped our ancestors survive, chronic stress today leads to negative effects like visceral fat deposits, memory impairment, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, mood swings, digestive issues, neuromuscular complaints, and immune system impairment. Chronic stress diminishes our quality of life and can cause long-term health problems.

Use Nutrition to Alleviate Chronic Stress

Managing stress with diet can be highly effective. Certain foods and stimulants can increase anxiety, while others soothe the nervous system. Here are some tips:

-Nervine Herbs: Herbs like chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, and oats soothe the nervous system, encouraging calm and relaxation.
-Adaptogens: Herbs like ashwagandha, tulsi, shisandra berry, eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), rhodiola, and passionflower help the body adapt to stress.
-Amino Acids: L-Theanine and GABA, found in green tea and foods like almonds, whole wheat, halibut, walnuts, lentils, brown rice, potatoes, spinach, bananas, and oranges, relieve stress.
-Calcium: Foods rich in calcium, such as leafy greens and bone broth, have a soothing effect on the nervous system.
-Stimulants: Reducing caffeine and sugar intake can help manage stress. Consider alternatives like Yerba Mate, green tea, black tea, or Rooibos.

More Rest, Less Stress

Getting enough sleep is vital for managing stress. Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels, exacerbating stress. Here are some tips for better sleep:

-Bedtime Ritual: Turn off screens an hour before bed, drink chamomile tea, or read a book.
-Winding Down: Start relaxing an hour or two before bed.
-Brain Dump: Keep a pen and paper by your bed to jot down thoughts.
-Avoid Stimulants: Reduce intake of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, especially in the evening.

Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate these relaxation techniques into your daily routine:

-Yoga: Encourages relaxation and deep breathing, particularly hip-opening poses.
-Stretching: Helps you slow down and re-focus your energy.
-Regular Exercise: Releases endorphins, improving mood.
-Single-tasking: Focusing on one thing at a time increases efficiency and focus.
-Slow Down: Take time to appreciate life and reduce stress.
-Quiet Time: Spend a few minutes daily to recharge and relax.

 

Taking a holistic approach to stress management is essential for your mental and physical health. If you find it difficult to cope with stress, consider speaking with one of our Clinicians for additional techniques that might help. You can book a FREE 15-minute call with us through the booking page. You can also call us on 01 611 1719 or email [email protected] and we'll get back to you.