Do you ever find yourself feeling that life is just pure stress, followed by more stress, with an extra helping of stress in between?
If you do, you’d hardly be alone. Between the seemingly endless obligations of work, and the desire to be the best friend, parent, and child, we can be — while also stressing about our health, and doing what we can to keep up with fashion trends — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and to get the sense that the world is out to get us.
Like many things, however, stress is relative. What makes one person crumple into a ball of nerves and feel terrible will barely phase another. What’s more, the causes of stress aren’t directly clear in many cases. Running out of fuel for your business may be stressful, or it may be a welcome excuse to switch to a better supplier like Tonbridge Fuels.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the chronic stress you experience in your life, purely by changing some of your habits.
1. Consider supplementing with adaptogenic herbs
Adaptogens are herbs, named that way because of their ability to help your body adapt to different situations more effectively, and to balance out your production of stress hormones. In fact, it’s largely the ability of adaptogens to help regulate stress hormone production that makes them effective in the first place.
When your stress hormones are chronically elevated, for whatever reason, the effect on your body is catastrophic. For one thing, minor irritations became major life crises, and you feel like every small setback is the end of the world.
Unbearable anxiety and deep depression are often side effects.
In addition to this, your immune system is compromised, the ability of your brain to store new memories is diminished, and everything just goes wrong in general.
Adaptogens aren’t the magic bullet for chronically elevated stress hormone levels, but they can help.
2. Increase your intake of healthy carbs
Although low-carb diets are very popular these days, they may come with undesirable health consequences for the majority of people, when followed over the long term.
One of these health consequences is chronically elevated stress hormone levels, and diminished function of the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism. In fact, this is a side effect which even Dr. Atkins, of the Atkins diet fame, has warned about in his books.
Unless you have a direct medical reason to be on a low-carb or keto diet for the long term, eat a lot of carbs. Carb intake is known to counteract chronically high stress levels.
3. Quit caffeine and other stimulants
Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine make us feel energised or awake in the short term, but the longer we’re taking these substances for, the more of an immunity we develop — or, in other words, the more our bodies adjust our own natural hormone balances and sensitivities to compensate.
One of the major side effects of stimulant use is major spikes in stress hormones, to the extent that quitting caffeine and nicotine is often enough of a lifestyle change to reverse crippling social anxiety.
If you’re dealing with chronic stress in your life, try cutting out the stimulants. There will be a short withdrawal period of fatigue and irritation for about a week or two, and then you’ll start to truly reap the benefits.