How to Cope with Stress?

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Stress can come from anywhere – anger or frustration an illness, the mere thoughts, deadlines at work, a new home, the birth of a child, shopping, and the headlines in your newspaper. The stress of handling it all can make you anxious, cranky and tired. Stress is exhausting, can make you sick. The less serious conditions that are stress-related are fatigue, headache, heartburn, indigestion, insomnia, and even hair loss.

But stress also undermines the immune system and can increase susceptibility to infection, heart disease, and cancer. Stress affects everything you do. Some behaviors that appear to be caused by low self-worth overeating, not exercising, neglecting our own needs are really caused by having too little time and too much stress. In and of itself, stress is neither negative nor positive. It is our reaction to stress that affects our physical and emotional health.

Although everyone experience stress, not everyone handles it constructively. For instance in addition to zapping your energy, stress deplete your time. You are less likely to make yourself a salad for dinner and more likely to rip open a bag of corn chips while you sit on the cough and watch the evening news. You may think this is relaxing and that you are dealing with the stress of crazy day, but you are not. Actually you’re adding your stress by not eating well. The healthier you are the better you can handle stress. You need to have your body working at maximum capacity to deal with stress.

The bottom line in dealing with stress is to cope, to handle the stress in such a way that it doesn’t harm you. Life is one stressful situation after another, and there’s no way to remove stress from your life. And you shouldn’t want to. It’s stress that challenges you and makes you grow. Stress is what keeps us all going. What should you do about stress? There are several types of techniques for battling the negative effects of stress everything from exercise and meditation to taking 15 minute mini vacation from stress several times a day. The right diet can also help.

Good diet will give you the strength you need and keep your immune system and nervous system in great shape. Thus, to understand why good nutritional habits are essential during periods of stress, it is very important to recognize how the body responds to stress. When faced with a huge dose of stress the body relies on the digestive system. Epinephrine “adrenaline” the stress hormone, is released from the adrenal glands. This hormone travels through the body to increase blood pressure heart rate, and breathing. Digestion shuts down fats and sugars are released from stores in the body, and cholesterol levels rise. The result of these hormonal changes is an aroused and tense state that prepares a person to meet danger. This is known as the fight or flight response. This response was needed back when cavemen had to react to physical danger. When the danger was no longer threatening the body would return to normal.

The reacts to stress in the same way, but instead of running or fighting you just get the stressed out state. And you can stay in a state of tension unless you find ways to release it. Food can affect stress in many ways. What you eat either can promote or relieve stress. It can also either help or hinder how the body handles the physical stress response. To build up your resistance to stress try these eating tips.

  1. Don’t Skip Meals: Stress deplete you of energy. Many people really don’t eat enough, either because they don\t have time or because they are trying to lose weight. Since food is essential of energy, these practices actually increase stress. When you skip meals, you don’t tolerate stress as well because you lack energy.

  2. Eat for energy: The first rule is to be consistent. Eat at regular times each day even if you are not hungry. That way you will head off hunger pangs that are bound to surface later, and spacing meals four to six hours apart and filling in with snacks when required.

  3. Eat Enough: If you know you have to expand an enormous amount of energy in the morning, you have to take a good breakfast. If you are mood swings and fatigue in the early afternoon. Make your breakfast low in fat focusing on complex carbohydrates. Some good suggestions are whole grain cereal with low-fat milk or toast with yogurt or cheese for added protein. A breakfast full of sugar, may give you a temporary boost but will leave you drained an hour later just about the time you are ready to being your presentation.

  4. Do Break for Lunch: Eating lunch at your desk may sound like a good way to squeeze in some extra work, but it’s better for your stress level to get away for a while. Eat separate from where you spend the rest of your stress filled day. Let coworkers know you don’t want to talk about work or other stressful situation while you eat. A powerful lunch is okay once in a while, however don’t make it habit. It only adds to your stress level and interferes with your digestive process.

  5. Don’t Overeat: When people are under a great deal of stress, they often tend to do things in excess, whether its eating, drinking or spending. Giving in to the anxiety from stress makes you feel calm and in control but this euphoria is only temporary. A few days later there’s guilt for the indulgent behavior and that compounds the original stress. Thus, overeating and compulsive eating typically affect those who haven’t learned to handle stress or how to express anxiety and tension orally. Stock up fresh fruits yogurt rice cakes and herbal tea.

  6. Don’t give in to Sugar Carvings. There is not person alive who hasn’t at some point reached for a chocolate bar in the middle of a stress packed afternoon. Some people triggered by an onslaught of continual stress, go on sugar binges. They devour large quantities of sweets a bag of cookies a quart of ice cream at a time. When you’re stressed you are perhaps drawn to junk foods. Chocolate and cookies won’t make stress go away. Eating sweets may give you an initial boost of energy, but within an hour you would be feel even more sluggish tense, and irritable.

  7. Drink lots of Fluids: Dehydration causes fatigue and clouds your thinking. Try to have 2 quarts of fluid each day, either plain water or non-caffeinated beverages such as juice or herbal tea. If you work in an office all day, you should try to drink even more fluids. Dry, overheated or highly air-conditioned buildings increase the rate at which the body loses water.

  8. Don’t Rely on Coffee: Some people turn to coffee tea or caffeinated soda for a quick pick me up. You feel more energetic at first, however after the effects wear off, you may feel even more tired and crave another energy boost. Too much caffeine also can make you edgy. Caffeine acts in the body like a shot of epinephrine, increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine is a diuretic; it causes dehydration which is fatiguing. To counter it, drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee tea or soda you have.

  9. Don’t use Alcohol to Relieve Stress: Many people drink when they are tense and uncomfortable. They reach for a glass of wine or some beer to unwind after a stressful day. Alcohol does give an immediate sense of stress relief, but once the buzz is gone, so is the good mood. Alcohol also causes disrupted sleep, which makes stress even more likely to return. Alcohol deprives the body of nutrients from other foods. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, it uses up niacin and thiamine, which means these B vitamins are not available for other purposes. Alcohol also depleted your energy by dehydrating the body. Since alcohol is a diuretic, which increases the output of urine, it causes the loss of such water-soluble minerals as magnesium, potassium and zinc.

So, eat regularly and eat enough, so pay careful attention to eating a good well-balanced diet when you are under lot of stress. Stress also leads to Anxiety and depression, which are very difficult situation. So try to relax and calm, don’t take too much tension. Every work takes their own time so taking more stress will not change the situation.