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Stress

Our reaction to stress originates in the days of our ancestors. We inherited the mechanisms to increase blood pressure, pulse and respiratory frequency, in order to prepare our bodies for imminent fight or flight.

Nowadays however threatening situations are of different nature, and a reasonable reaction is hardly ever flight or fight. Hence the energy released in our bodies has no way of unloading, and gradually turns against it. Continuous stress often results in gastrointestinal problems, tension, backaches and headaches, cardiovascular diseases, sleeping disorders, irritability, sensitiveness etc.

Such signals should be taken serious and be responded to. They are very reliable indicators of when it is high time to take a time-out and relax.

Body and soul form an inseparable unit. If you are feeling mentally low, physical activity often helps to improve your disposition. On the other hand, the prospects of cure of physical illnesses, are much improved, by doing something for your soul.

An effective stress management should pursue two goals. One factor is to avoid stress where possible, the other is to relieve or neutralize stress through relaxation, physical exercise and a healthy diet.

Diet

The reasons why some people have more difficulties dealing with stress than others, can also be a result of their diets. A healthy diet can help handle stress.

Were you aware of the fact, that your body looses 300 to 350 mg of vitamin C, when exposed to stress for 15 minutes. It weakens the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to attacks. Apart from citrus fruits, also kiwis, red peppers and parsley are good sources of vitamin C.

The „anti-stress-mineral“ magnesium is set free by the body cells, when exposed to stress. This can endanger heart and circulation. We hence desperately need to restock, e.g. with the consumption of following food: brown rice, pumpkin seeds, bananas, almonds, pulses, cooked ham, potatoes, tomatoes, wholegrain cereal and salads.

Potassium strengthens the nerves. Broccoli, celery, apples and milk contain potassium.

Thanks to the mineral phosphor, you think and feel more positive. Eat fish, soybeans, wheat germs, as well as fruits and vegetables. Avoid eating food that contains additives, preservatives and other chemical substances. Additives cause a lot of stress for the body, because they are much more difficult to process. During the course of which, valuable nutrients are wasted; the body could have better invested those to strengthen the immune system.

(Physical) Exercise

After a stressful day, the body needs to „let off steam” or find a ventilation for the released stress-energy. That is why it is ideal to do a little sport after work. Additionally, regular physical exercise trains the body, increases resilience and strengthens the self-esteem. It is important to ascertain that the exercise units are fun and can be integrated into your everyday life. Don’t think too much in the category of performance! Higher priority should be set on regular exercising.

Regular jogging results in the release of the hormone endorphin, which is responsible for lifting our spirits and clearing the mind.

In addition, the accumulated stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, are reduced, which otherwise would excessively burden the body. Choose the form of running workout that suits you best, start moderately and integrate it into your everyday life. Continuity is much more important than speed. Also walking, cycling and swimming can be recommended for most people.

Relaxation (Tension Release)

The rhythm of life consists of building tension and releasing it. A phase of high tension should be followed by a phase of tension release.

There are many techniques for relaxation, such as autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, walking, breathing exercises, listening to (classical) music, massages, and many more.

It is recommendable to know a few of these techniques, and to be able to apply them at any given time. To fully profit from your individual relaxation techniques, you should above all enjoy doing them. Also you should be able to choose the right technique corresponding to the situation.

To effectively release tension, integrate relaxation nooks into your everyday life. Also it is a gesture to the importance of acknowledging yourself and your needs; treat yourself to extra time or expenses for your own relaxation.

 

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