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Stop Stressing Out Over Stress!

By Donna Stark

We have all heard about the dangerous effects that stress can have on our health. It can age us, weaken our immune system, impact our moods, and deliver disease and pain to our bodies. In general, it can really make us feel, well ... like junk, can't it? It has loosely been described as the "silent killer" over the years, and if that's not reason enough to pay attention, then I'm not sure what is. It would be nice if we could avoid all of the stress in our lives, but that's not possible. Actually, avoiding stress is virtually impossible because it always knows where to find you, and to make matters worse, it can sneak up without you really noticing it.

Strategies for Stress

One thing to know about stress is that it doesn't always have to present itself as a catastrophic event. In fact, most of our stress comes from the small things in life that simply build on each other. Keeping stress at a level that is comfortable and somewhat controlled is key to optimal health. Let's take a look at some effective strategies that may be able to help you fend off the effects that stress can place on your body.

  • Diet - Certain foods can definitely help reduce the effects of stress and anxiety, so you will want to be sure to include them in your daily diet. These are complex carbohydrates, citrus, fatty fish, nuts, avocado, tea, and milk.
  • Sleep - Making sure that you are getting quality sleep is very important because your body uses that time to recover from the stress of the day. Deep sleep is not only required for the body to recharge, but it also helps to promote a sense of well-being.
  • Exercise - Exercise is a must. In addition to improving your health and fitness level, it also helps to release muscle tension, channel anxiety, and boost your mood. At the very minimum, exercise for 30 minutes each day.
  • Time management - We have certainly become slaves to our clocks, haven't we? And a major consequence of that is the stress we feel if our time management is out of whack. To combat this, start making lists and prioritize everything you write down. When your days are planned out, you may be less likely to become stressed.
  • Support network - Although not everyone needs an entire support group that meets every week, most people do need a few close friends or family to lean on. It's important to know that someone will be there for you in times of need, so nurture those relationships in your life.

Take Care of Yourself

Stress is inevitable, and there really is no way you can avoid it, but you can learn how to manage it. So make a conscious effort to care for yourself and keep that "silent killer" as far away from you as possible!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brookfield, Wis.

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