Do you stress about being stressed?
Do you stress about being stressed? Here’s how you can stop it
It’s 2018, and not only are we more stressed than ever, we’re also more educated about the effects stress can have on our health. However, does anyone else get the feeling that stressing out over how stress can impact our health is actually placing us in a vicious cycle?
Back in the early 1990s, 7,268 London-based civil servants were asked how much just the thought of the stress they had had an impact on their overall health. Participants had to answer on scale from “not at all” to “extremely”.
After 18 years of this study, researchers in the UK, France and Finland looked back at the participants’ responses to find out how many of them ended up having non-fatal and fatal heart attacks.
8% of the participants reported that stress impacted their health “a lot” or “extremely” and by the end of the experiment, the same people had twice the risk of having a heart attack compared to those who felt stress didn’t affect their health at all.
How to get out of the cycle
We get it, life is stressful, which explains why quick fixes such as caffeine, salty chips, high-fat snacks, and sugary treats are so popular. It may feel like junk distracts you from stress, but its only adding to it.
Regardless of how stressful modern day living is, we come across many people who look like they have it all under control. If you’re wondering what their secrets are, keep reading:
Humans breathe since the day they are born so you’d think a lot of them would be experts at it. Surprisingly, most of them don’t do it right.
Stress and anxiety can make you a shallow breather. During a stressful or negative situation, you may find yourself taking quick, shallow breaths. Try doing the opposite. Stand up, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time, and take long, deep, slow and relaxed breaths. Do this for at least 10 seconds. You may feel dizzy but that’s only because you’re inhaling more oxygen. Simply, sit down and continue.
Find the right music
Whether it classical, jazz, or country, the right music can calm any type of stress. Find music that calms you and ignites positive feelings in you. Just save the up-tempo, raging music for your workouts and stick to music that’s happy, mellow and brings in positive thoughts.
It may sound too simple to alleviate stress but it works wonders. Simply stand up and stretch whatever part of your body that can be stretched. Extend your arms up and then place them on your lower back. Stretch backwards. Return to start and twist your body left and right. Sit down, stretch your legs and wriggle your toes. Google has a myriad of stretching techniques designed for stress, spending a few minutes there to find what works for you will help improve your mind and body significantly.
Stop eating junk
What you eat can affect how you feel. Think about it. If loss of sleep can impact your productivity and reactivity, so can unhealthy food choices. If you’ve crashed following a high caffeine intake on a busy work day, you probably already know this.
Stress can stimulate nasty cravings and trigger emotional eating. This can be especially challenging to those who are stressed but are also trying to eat better. However, note that it can and should be done. Break the vicious cycle, get rid of unhealthy junk and replace them with wholesome and nutritious snacks such as dates, nuts, brown rice cakes, fruit and dark chocolate.
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