In small doses, stress can be helpful. But when it starts sticking around long-term, it can derail your health. Here’s how to fight chronic stress, and get your life back on track.
Did you know that stress is supposed to be helpful?
Stress refers to the body’s natural reaction to life-threatening situations. In what is known as a “fight-or-flight” response, our body starts to prepare for confronting a foe head on, or retreating to safety.
Physiological reactions start to occur. Your muscles tense, blood circulates faster, your breathing quickens… all with the express aim of helping your body achieve an optimal survival state.
When it comes to non-life-threatening situations, stress can also be helpful as a motivator, such as pushing us to fully prepare for an important job interview.
The problems arise when our stress becomes “chronic.” When stress accumulates like this, it leads to “burnout.”
Our bodies are not equipped to handle stress on a long-term basis. When experienced consistently, these “fight-or-flight” reactions start to wear the body down, damaging various parts of the digestive, immune, and cardiovascular systems, to name a few.
We can’t stop ourselves from experiencing stress, but we can help prevent it from becoming chronic.
So here is a list of our tips for starting to live a burnout-free life!
You can practice all the stress-relieving exercises in the world, but if you don’t provide your body with the necessary nourishment, they’ll be about as effective as a windbreaker in a hurricane.
If we understand stress as a physiological reaction, then we should provide our body with ingredients to mitigate stress’ effect.
This is an all-natural, non-sedative formula for fighting the negative effects of chronic stress that keeps you relaxed, but also alert!
Burnout can happen when we feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks we have on our plate.
Those aren’t just “job” tasks either; these include smaller, daily tasks such as: washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and getting to work on time.
By becoming more organized, burnout will naturally start to fade into the rearview mirror. Click here for our best tips on how to effectively manage your time and tasks.
Many of us know that 7-8 hours is typically regarded as a “healthy” length of sleep.
But, haven’t you ever slept for 8 hours and yet woken up feeling groggy? It’s almost like you haven’t slept at all.
That’s because we need 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep to wake up truly rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle the day.
Healthy sleep habits have been shown to lower cortisol levels. That’s the hormone that causes feelings of stress!
When we are experiencing long-term stress, our mind can be running at a million miles an hour, and this is often reflected through physical symptoms such as incessant fidgeting, nervous tics, and quickened breathing.
By addressing these symptoms, we may also be able to mitigate the cause.
When you notice your body sending you signals of stress, take the time to properly calm yourself and find physical stillness, either through yoga, meditation, or some other process that resonates with you. You may find that you soothe your mind in the process.
When feeling stressed, take a few moments to stop, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Feel both your body and your mind relax…
Vitamin D is known as “the sunshine vitamin”… because we get it from sunlight!
Okay, so that’s not strictly true. Technically, sunlight reacts with a protein in our skin, which causes us to create vitamin D.
Vitamin D is really important to overall health, not least because it has the ability to help uplift our mood and also fight both stress and anxiety!
Many of us are deficient in this vitamin. This isn’t much of a surprise, especially during the colder, darker months of the year.
You can’t have a truly healthy mind without having a healthy body.
Indulging in unhealthy eating habits or neglecting regular exercise is a surefire way to keep chronic stress in your life.
Think about it: If chronic stress is caused by a physiological reaction that is out of balance, we have to make sure our body is provided with the right nutrients to bring it back to optimal function.
Make sure you are eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, and get out of your desk chair when you can!
Even a short, 20-30 minute walk can make a huge difference.
By taking care of your body, you will also help take care of your mind.
There’s been enough to stress about over the past year… let’s implement these habits and ease our mental burden in 2021!
* Featured Photo by Doğukan Şahin on Unsplash