You’ve probably heard plenty of people saying that “stress kills,” and it turns out that’s a literally true statement, and not just a melodramatic bit of advice designed to get people to chill out and enjoy their lives a bit more.
When you’re stressed out, the hormone balance of your body changes dramatically. Specifically, you produce much more of the “stress hormones,” such as cortisol, and adrenaline.
Those “stress hormones” aren’t “bad.” Their purpose is to get you up and active in the short term, when there’s evidence that something in your environment isn’t going the way it should be, and that you need to take action and make a change.
When those hormones are elevated over a prolonged period of time, though, they cause damage to your brain and vital organs, ruin your immune system and make you more susceptible to disease. They also harm your body’s ability to generate new healthy tissue, and just generally make you feel awful in a wide variety of ways.
Figuring out effective strategies for de-stressing is a big deal – so, here are some simple ways to reduce stress in your everyday life.
1. Get someone else to “do it for you”
Alright, so, clearly it’s important to be self-reliant in life and to be able to “carry your own weight.” But, everyone has limits, and no matter how much you want to be Superman or Superwoman, there’s only so much that you can realistically take on and achieve in a given period of time, before you burn yourself out dramatically, and turn your life into a stressful nightmare.
Sometimes, one of the best ways of de-stressing is simply to “get someone else to do it for you,” with the “it” in question being any job or task that needs to be dealt with, but that you are having genuine trouble juggling effectively.
It might be that you have all the know-how required to repaint your house from top to bottom – but even if that’s true, the job itself is no small undertaking, and if you stack that on top of your existing obligations to your family, your workplace, and all the rest, it might send your stress levels through the roof.
In this example, hiring a good painting contractor would be a clear solution that could help to free up a lot of your own mental and emotional energy.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to delegate and outsource some of the tasks and “jobs” that come up.
2. Make sure you’re eating in a way that makes you feel your best, and that addresses all your nutritional needs.
Diet and nutrition are topics that are just way too controversial for there to be a perfectly clear and straightforward answer to – just about everyone has their own idea of what the perfect diet looks like, and many of those ideas differ from each other in a huge way.
In any case, if you’re eating in a way that makes you feel your best, that gives you plenty of energy, and that support your overall health, you’re going to be much better at managing stress than you would be if you were living on a diet of junk food that made you feel terrible.
There are many different nutrients that the body needs in order to function properly, ranging from minerals like magnesium, to vitamins like vitamin C, and metals like iron.
As a general rule, the more you’re able to follow a balanced nutrition plan that gives you as much of the nutrients you need as possible, the better you’re going to feel, and the more resilient you’ll be against stress.
3. Ditch social media (or at least cut way back)
Would you be surprised to learn that there is research out there that shows that people who spend more time on social media are at a higher risk of being depressed, anxious, and stressed?
It could be that people who are having a bad time turn to social media as a way of taking their minds off things, but there’s a good deal of evidence that social media actually draws us all into a cycle of self-doubt and status competition that doesn’t work wonders for health and well-being.
Consider ditching your social media – or at least, cutting way back, in order to free yourself from having to obsess over which of the 400 selfies you took on vacation is right to display to your followers, or why some of your friends seem to be attending way more parties than you.