Too much stress on your body can lead to poor health outcomes. There are many factors that can increase stress such as a poor diet, lack of sleep, and being sedentary. There are, however, things you can do to help reduce this stress.
A Poor Diet
A poor diet can increase stress and stress can increase a poor diet. Stress leads people to choose foods lower in nutrition and drinking stimulants. Stimulants like coffee can increase your stress because the caffeine increases your levels of cortisol. Foods that are full of refined sugars and saturated and trans fats can also increase cortisol. Skipping meals can also increase your stress because you don’t have the necessary nutrients for your body to function properly. To combat stress from a poor diet, focus on including nutrient dense foods, even when you are stressed. Focus on protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber rich foods, limiting your caffeine use, and drinking enough water.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is essential for your body. Lack of sleep puts your body in a stressed state and increases the levels of cortisol in your body. Getting enough sleep, roughly 7-9 hours is essential to decrease stress and optimal body function. If lack of sleep is due to your busy schedule, find factors you can change. Instead of watching Netflix before bed you could try reading or relaxation exercises. Try to cut down your schedule so you have more time to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, there are many things you can try. Hot tubs can reduce your insomnia by helping you unwind after a long day. You can also create a bedtime ritual that prepares your body for sleep.
Sedentary life has both physical and mental consequences. Being sedentary increases your risk for being overweight, cancer, heart disease. It also increases your risk for anxiety and depression. Even just a small amount of exercise can help reduce stress in your body. Exercise lowers cortisol and produces endorphins which elevate your mood. Exercise can also help you sleep better which will help reduce your stress further.
Reducing stress will help you increase your health and quality of life. Stress comes from so many factors in life such as poor diet, lack of sleep, and being sedentary, all of which can come from a busy lifestyle. You can take small steps to improve these stressors and improve your health.
Check out this article for the easiest ways to improve your quality of life!