7 Tips to Reduce Stress
1. Skip refined carbs, which tend to keep cortisol levels high, and instead choose whole grain carbs that support mood by stimulating production of the brain’s feel-good chemical, serotonin. Good carbs also contain enough fiber to slow digestion and keep blood sugar levels even.
2. Increase your magnesium. Take 350 mg magnesium daily as a supplement. For an extra boost of this nutrient, incorporate magnesium-containing foods such as nuts, halibut, spinach and whole-grain cereal. You can also try spiking your bath water with Epsom salts or Natural Calm® Bath. Research shows that the skin can absorb magnesium, boosting the body’s level of this key mineral.
3. Remember to rest. Many of us know that sleep is essential to well-being, but the act of resting—with relaxation, mindfulness and socializing—replenishes the overloaded emotions and nervous system. To release stress from your body, try a mini relaxation. Focus your attention on one muscle that feels tight or stressed, releasing any tension. Then do the same with another muscle, and continue one muscle at a time until you feel more relaxed.
4. Take a technology holiday. Experts say we have lost touch with our ability to relax and that our technology preoccupation prevents us from focusing on the moment. Put away the smartphone and make a “will not do” list instead of a “to do” one.
5. Choose steady energy. Instead of coffee—which can cause a quick crash and deplete magnesium stores—plant-based energy sources can provide a more consistent, steady energy.
6. Step down your exercise. A good workout reduces stress by burning off excess adrenaline and boosting your endorphins but it can also be a physical stress on your body. In addition, sweat loss can cause magnesium deficiency. When you’re feeling anxious, try a half-hour walk, a hike, a bike ride or yoga.
7. When you’re stressed, avoid …
- Fast food
- White bread