(Natural News) If you’ve been getting sick for no apparent reason, you may be suffering from chronic stress. Most people are so used to being stressed that they don’t even do anything to address it, which should not be the case. Failing to maintain healthy stress levels can interfere with the different functions of the body and increase the risk of problems like insomnia, eating disorders, depression, colds, and heart problems.
To help maintain your overall health, here are some ideas on how you can reduce stress in your life.
- Share your feelings — Instead of keeping your feelings bottled up, share them with at least one person whom you trust, whether it be a friend, family, or a therapist. They might be able to come up with solutions to your problems so that you feel less stressed, but even if they don’t, simply having someone listen to your worries can lift a huge burden off your chest.
- Follow a healthy diet — Most people tend to eat their way through stress. But instead of going for healthy foods that can help, they opt for processed foods that are rich in sugar, calories, and other unhealthy ingredients. Some foods that you should include in your diet to help you manage your stress levels include nuts, red peppers, salmon, spinach, oatmeal, dark chocolate, and tea.
- Get adequate sleep — To feel more relaxed, people need to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Reduce the time you waste just aimlessly staring at the ceiling by following a bedtime routine, lowering the temperature, blocking out light, and drinking a cup of warm milk or chamomile tea before bed.
- Relax and recharge — If work or school is getting too stressful, take some time to get away from these things before they start affecting your health. It doesn’t have to be a long and expensive vacation. What matters is that you put some distance between you and your stressors. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”
- Exercise — Physical activity triggers the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins that can do wonders to alleviate the stress you’re feeling. You can take a walk around a place with nice scenery so that you can think about something else or you can also do challenging workouts so you won’t even have the chance to think of anything else.
- Take up a hobby — Hobbies like gardening, playing instruments, scrapbooking, and painting are great for when you want to keep your mind off things. These also give you a sense of accomplishment that can motivate you to face your problems.
- Meditate — With everything going on around you, it might be a bit hard to just stay in the moment and relax. Meditating will help you ground yourself so that you don’t become overwhelmed with whatever worries you may have. If you don’t have much time to spare for a full-blown meditation session, you can go for just five minutes of the 4-7-8 breathing practice wherein you inhale for four counts, hold it for seven, and exhale for eight. (Related: Stressed out? Just 20 minutes of deep breathing and meditation each day significantly improves your mood.)
- Read books — Instead of checking social media or playing games, which can only stress you out, why not read a good book? It will surely help you relax and keep your mind off things.
- Get a pet — Pets are great companions. By just petting or walking them, you can already reduce your stress levels. If you don’t want to commit to a pet, you can just volunteer at a local pet shelter or go to parks where you can play with other people’s pets.
Visit Health.news to learn more about stress and its effects on your health.