Stress can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health. It can present itself as acute or chronic (short-term & long-term stress).
These symptoms can present themselves as muscle tension or pain, fatigue, inflammation, poor immune system response, and more. Mental stress has been linked to mortality from cardiovascular disease and to cognitive decline.
If stress is affecting you, it’s time to take daily actions to correct it. A positive mindset is an all-important aspect of optimal health and optimal aging.
Eliminate Stressors and Improve Your Thinking
The first step to solving a problem is identifying it. Make a list of things that are causing you stress. Don’t be afraid to look at your own habits or routines and identify things you can improve.
You may stress yourself out with negative thinking, or procrastination - making regular tasks seem insurmountable. There is an entire world of knowledge in the area of mindset. Mindset is hugely important not just for success, but for health and wellness.
While you may be able to change your way of thinking, it might be difficult - it’s okay to say no to external stressors when appropriate.
These days there’s a lot to worry about when watching the news, but you can always turn it off or change the channel. You may find that you get wrapped up in tense conversations with only certain people. It might benefit you to limit time with them or not spend time with them altogether.
And saying “no” isn’t always a bad thing - cutting back on your tasks for the day where you can, may help you focus on more important things, giving you time to put effort into what matters.
If you’ve figured out what’s causing you stress - now reflect on the aspects of your life that bring you joy. Practicing gratitude for what you do have can help you reframe your mindset. Write down what makes you grateful, and think about sharing what you have with someone else - or hearing what they have to say as well. In fact, hearing about something that you did that helped another person is one of the most powerful ways to reset your mind.
Exercise As Stress Relief
While mental growth can definitely help, exercise is another move you’ll need to make for daily success. And we’re not talking about running a marathon, climbing a mountain, or learning to snowboard overnight.
Exercise can be as simple as walking your dog after work, parking further back in the parking lot, or doing exercises during commercials at home. Whatever it is, find something you enjoy and don’t be afraid to start small.
One of the best things you can do is a daily ‘constitutional’. This is a short walk, only 15 to 20 minutes actually, after a meal. Not only will this get you moving and help to reset the default mode network of the brain, but it will also lower your blood glucose levels.
Building daily habits for stress relief can take time. So don’t feel pressure to keep up with unattainable goals or with someone else (that’s the point of relieving stress, right?). One of the reasons that social media is so stressful is that it forces constant comparison to others.
Adding exercise to your daily habits can negate the impacts of stress over time - like boosting your immune system and improving your mood.
Engage With Others
Social support can alleviate those negative stressors. Whether you’re talking it out or receiving help with day-to-day tasks - your friends and family can be a great help. It’s important to be on both the giving and receiving end of this engagement. If you find someone else is requiring too much of your support, it may be time to reevaluate that relationship.
If you’re feeling alone, remember - that’s not an isolated feeling. Others also feel like they’re dealing with stress alone.
Reaching out to old friends, family, coworkers, or meeting new people through shared activities can help them build their support network too.
Just remember to not overcommit yourself - you don’t want to start back at square one with your daily stress management.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself can look like a lot of things. To keep it simple we’ll focus on relaxation and diet.
If you’re managing your time well - that should include time to relax or do something you enjoy everyday. Think of your relaxation time as you rebuilding your energy reserve. Don’t let other activities encroach on this.
Relaxing activities can include:
- Nature walks
- Taking a bath
- Reading a book
- Writing or painting
There are tons of options - just find the activity that brings you peace. It’s okay if you’re not the best at it or you’ve never done it before.
Remember, you’re doing this to get away from stress and pressure, so keep it fun! Even a very short session of meditation or deep breathing (such as box breathing) can be enough to cause relaxation.
You’ll want to make sure you’re eating healthy as well. Having the correct nutrients can improve your energy levels and mood.
Dr. Warner is an advocate of the Mediterranean Diet - a diet focused on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It also includes a smaller portion of dairy, lean poultry, and fish with plenty of omega-3. This diet doesn’t include a lot of red meats or sweets. Red meat is OK periodically, as long as it is grass-finished and not processed.
It can be difficult to get all these nutrients in your diet though. So adding supplements to your daily routine can positively impact your ability to handle the effects of stress.
Dr. Warner’s Nervous System Multi includes plenty of Omega-3 and other ingredients that may relieve pain associated with stress-induced inflammation or muscle tension.
If you experience regular fatigue due to stress, taking the Restful Sleep Gummy with Tart Cherry Extract can help you sleep more deeply, improving your sleep cycle.
Check out our full list of products to ease the symptoms of stress: