19 Jun Strategies To Help You Stress Less
Although its sometimes seen as a dirty word, stress does have an important role to play.
If you are faced with a threat, your body switches on your acute stress response (the ‘flight or fight’ response) to give you energy and to help you deal with the ‘threat’ – the question is, do you run or do fight back?
In the current world we live in, there are constant emotion triggers increasing our stress. From being stuck in traffic, work deadlines, financial and family stressors – no matter what it is, cortisol is being released (a chemical which keeps you alert and awake), if cortisol is high for a long period of time your body is a constant state of ‘flight and fight’ and it affects every other system in your body. Such as:
- Mental wellbeing
- Hormones conversions
- Heart rate and blood pressure
Foods to help reduce stress
Certain foods are of particular benefit for healthy mood.
Protein is essential to help regulate blood glucose levels, and support healthy brain chemistry, therefore helping to support healthy mood, concentration and sleep. Protein foods can be obtained from both animal and vegetable sources. Stuck for ideas, see our protein chart.
Essential Fatty Acid (EFA)
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are an important structural and functional element for a healthy brain and nervous system, helping to support memory, cognitive function and a healthy mood. Fish oil, small oily fish (e.g. sardines, anchovies, mackerel), brazil nuts, walnuts, flax seeds and avocado are all great source. Watch our video on SPM.
Magnesium is required to help muscles relax and promote a calmness. Red meat, almonds, walnuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, prunes, spinach, bananas and parsley help increase your magnesium levels. At NatMed, we stock a huge range of different magnesium products to help improve levels.
B vitamins act together to support energy production, healthy nervous system function and optimal brain function. Eating a variety of foods help you get different sources of B vitamins. Foods such as: chicken, lamb and beef, wheat germ, rice bran, almonds, dark-green leafy vegetables, potatoes, seafood and eggs.
Foods to Avoid
These are several foods that can increase your stress response and therefor should be avoided.
- Caffeine (limit coffee and other caffeinated drinks)
- Refine carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, rice, pasta)
Strategies to Reduce Stress
Something so simple can make the world of a difference.
Try this technique when you are feeling overwhelmed
- Exhale completely through your mouth
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to mental count of four
- Hold your breath for a count of seven
- Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of 8.
- Repeat the cycle three or four times
There are a group of herbs used specifically for their ability to reduce anxiety. Certain herbs can help increase your calming neurotransmitter, gamma aminobutyric acid or ‘GABA’.
Examples of herbs include passionflower, magnolia, hops, lavender and California poppy. Whilst herbal teas can also help (chamomile or lavender). Naturopath, Jacky Dixon explain why passionflower is so powerful for reducing anxiety.
Exercise supports a healthy mood in many ways:
- Reduces negative effects of stress on the brain, which can cause low mood
- Increasing levels of neurotransmitters that support a healthy mood
- Improving sleep quality
Start with something quick and easy, such as a 20-minute walk (outside preferably). You could also set aside 15 minutes to dance to your favourite music for something fun and enjoyable – why not get the whole family involved?
Find Your Team
A great place to start is by exploring the resources at Beyond Blue, an organisation dedicated to providing information and support to people struggling with low mood.
One of our qualified Naturopaths can work with you giving advice on nutrients and helps which can help manage your stress, support digestion, improve your mood and overall wellbeing – we are on your team!
- Insight timer
- Youtube – There are thousands of free meditation, breathing and stress reducing techniques videos right at your fingertips.
If you interested in working with a qualified Perth Naturopath, contact us on 9339 1999 or book online.
We offer FREE 15 minute scoping session so you can ensure you are comfortable before making an appointment.