Are you always stressed, busy and overwhelmed? Small doses of stress can be good for us, but over time, it can build up. Chronic stress can affect the whole body and raise your risk of countless chronic conditions.
Let’s take a look at why you want to make stress management a priority.
Why you want to manage your stress for your health
Here are just a few reasons why you want to prioritise relieving stress:
Because the adrenals and nervous system affect the function of the entire body, our experience of stress can impact any health concern. So whether you’re preventing or managing a health issue, stress relief should always be part of your plan.
How to manage your stress levels naturally
Now that you know why stress management is critical, what can you do about it?
It’s important to note that we can’t remove or even control all sources of stress. Some are inevitable such as family conflicts or busy periods of work. Others are internal – for example, allergies, intolerances, chronic conditions, heavy metals and nutrient deficiencies are all physical sources of stress.
With that in mind, here are some simple ways to relieve stress naturally.
Remove or outsource as much as possible
Unfortunately, we now live in a world where we’re always ‘switched on’, able to be reached and asked to contribute. This can mean less time for yourself and more time committed to other people’s requests.
When stress piles up, look through your commitments and see what you can cancel, postpone or simply choose not to do. You’d be surprised at how much on the to-do list is able to be change or taken off completely!
You might also consider outsourcing some tasks – for example, hiring a cleaner to come in once a month so you free up a few hours for yourself.
Include regular physical activity
Exercise is a great way to work through stress. Not only is it a healthy channel for any anger or frustration you might experience, but it also gives you a dose of feel-good endorphins.
If you’re experiencing chronic overwhelming stress, gentle movement is the best option. Intense physical activity can add to your burden of stress, particularly if you’re not used to it. Good options include:
Aim to add at least 3 sessions of movement every week.
Eat a diet that supports your mood
What we eat can make or break our ability to handle stress. If you eat processed high-sugar foods, your blood sugar fluctuates and your mood swings rapidly. To stay calm, cool and in control, opt for nutrient-dense options such as:
Wholefoods also supply the nutrients your body needs to cope with stress effectively such as zinc, magnesium and B vitamins.
Avoid using alcohol to relieve stress
Many people reach for a glass of wine to unwind after a stressful day. Although you might feel better, it is actually increasing the stress in your body.
Alcohol adds to your liver’s detoxification burden. This can slow down the processing of excess hormones, heavy metals, toxins and more. The liver also uses several nutrients, so over time you may deplete key nutrients.
Make sure you have at least 2-3 alcohol-free nights every week. Ideally skip the alcohol altogether if you’re under intense stress.
Humans are naturally social creatures – we were never meant to be alone. So if you’re struggling to manage your stress, seek support. This might be from friends or family, or it could be from a health professional.
Looking to manage your stress naturally? The team at Burnett House are here to help.
Our acupuncturist Jamie combines acupuncture with other tools such as dry needling and remedial massage to relieve symptoms such as pain and stress naturally.
Our naturopath Trish can look at diet and lifestyle factors that can help to address underlying causes of stress and support your resilience.
To book an appointment with Jamie or Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, call us on (07) 41522372