Who doesn’t have it?? I sure do at times. It can occur during times of change, whether it be positive or negative. The way we react to it/view a situation can totally affect the way we act.
It can either stifle us or propel us into action! Here are some negative effects to stress on our bodies:
Constipation or diarrhea
Shortness of breath
Weight gain or loss
You can see why handling stress is so important! How do YOU handle stress??
Here are some tips to handle stress in a healthy way:
*Find things that you enjoy doing such as, reading, exercise, walk, hike with a friend, listen to music, try a healthy new recipe, gardening, play with the kids, walk the dog, take a different route to work, take a hot bath, talk with a trusted friend or family member. Don’t bottle it inside!
* Avoid the thing that leads to stress if possible. If not possible, learn what you can and cannot control and find ways to cope accordingly. Think outside the box.
* Be AWARE that you’re stressed. Sounds strange, but stopping to be aware that you are stressed allows you to think rationally (left brain) about what is going on. Is it really that stressful of a situation? Are there other ways to think about it? Do you simply need more information for the stress to subside?
* Don’t eat while stressed. It disrupts your digestive system and can lead to weight gain.
* Eat healthfully! I know we go to comfort food during these times which is actually a physiological response due to high cortisol levels in our bodies (our fight/flight response).
It’s easy to prepare, munch on and tastes good/makes us feel better, at least temporarily. Having healthy snacks on hand to help with those cravings can save not only calories but also support the nutrients your body needs during stressful times.
* Check your breathing. Most often when stressed we become “shallow breathers”. Breathing in from your diaphragm counting to 4, holding for 6 then exhaling for 7 ten times can help settle the body down.
* Magnesium also helps your cells calm down from the inside out. You may want to check with your HCP to see if a magnesium supplement may be right for you. You can take this quiz also to find out: text CALM123 to 44222
How to avoid eating poorly during stressful times:
*JOURNAL your feelings. Again, this is how awareness helps. Stop, breathe and try to journal or at least verbally speak your feelings. Get them out so you don’t use food to stuff them in!
* Talk with a friend or family member about what’s going on. Ask them to keep you accountable to eating healthfully during these times. There are some healthier decadent tasting things you can make to substitute for say ice cream that use frozen bananas instead of ice cream.
*Don’t keep “trigger” foods in the house! If they aren’t there, they are tempting you.
*Close up the kitchen after dinner, turn off the light and move to another room or go out for a walk.
*Walk, journal, read or drink water when you’re stressed/anxious and you’re not truly hungry.
How do YOU deal with stress currently?? What is an action step or two you can start to use today to handle stress better?
NOTE: This is NOT meant to replace a healthcare providers direction or guidance. See a mental health professional if you cannot seem to be able to deal with a situation.
The goal is for you to look like this not only all year but also during the Holidays 🙂 Be Blessed! Lori