Tips For Stress Relief

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Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies and on our skin. When you’re stressed out, your skin may break out in painful cysts, your body may experience ailments like headaches, joint pains, stomach aches, ulcers, and numerous other disorders that are typically the cause of inflammation caused by hormonal imbalance. When we’re under stress we produce a number of hormones, like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. Cortisol stimulates metabolism to produce energy which in turn stimulates insulin, which then in turn results in an increased appetite. A surge of cortisol is necessary in life-or-death situations; it’s our ‘primate hormone’ that helps us function under the most extremely nerve-racking situations, but when we put our bodies under constant stress the production of cortisol is continuous and demands for us to supply the body with fuel. Chronic release of cortisol causes us to feel hungry all the time, causing us to overeat and gain excess weight.

Take measures to reduce stress in your life. Wind down with chamomile tea, take deep breaths, practice yoga. Incorporate exercise (which helps to produce endorphins- aka happy hormones). Do things that make you happy and put you at ease. Eat a balanced diet, and incorporate stress-relieving foods into your meal plan. Carbohydrates help the body to produce serotonin, a calming hormone that helps to fight anxiety (this is why we crave pasta and pizza when we’re stressing!) Give in to the craving but choose healthier alternatives (complex carbs instead of simple carbs) like oatmeal, which will provide fiber and balance your blood sugar. Antioxidant rich foods help to ward off oxidative stress and free radicals (the cause of inflammation) so to prevent aches and pains that are caused by stress incorporate plenty of veggies, fruits and nuts into your meal plan. Get plenty of essential fatty acids from omega-rich food sources like salmon, nuts, and flax. Omega 3, 6 and 9 reduce inflammation and promote healthy cardiovascular function.

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