Best Stress Relievers

Leah Feingold Health + Wellness

stress-free-zone

We live in an extremely stressful environment and whether it’s work, home, money, partner, children or other things stressing us out it turns out that many health problems are related to stress. Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma. According to one study, even though there is no evidence that stress is a direct cause of cancer, there is evidence of a correlation between stress and developing certain kinds of cancer, as well as how the disease progresses.

Hundreds of studies have measured how stress impacts our immune systems. At Ohio State University, researchers concluded that students under pressure had slower-healing wounds and took longer to produce immune system cells (https://psychcentral.com/lib/stress-a-cause-of-cancer/). Other studies show that women who experienced traumatic life events or losses in recent years, had significantly higher rates of breast cancer risk.

Now you’ve had your dose of science, are you really stressed about…being stressed?

It shouldn’t be the case! A psychological study found that the group of people that cared the least about both potentially stressful situations, as well as stress itself, were the healthiest and most relaxed individuals.

What is the solution to this vicious circle of stress? This solution may not be easy to start with but it is 100 percent effective, tested, cheap and fool-proof.

Our bodies as well as minds have been designed to be active. That’s why exercise is an essential part of good body function. The problem is that we have become so brainwashed into sedentary lifestyles where we drive to the gym only to exercise, that we convince ourselves that we have no time or ability to be fit and healthy.

Physical activity keeps our cardiovascular system healthy and prevents obesity but also enables depletion of stress hormones (lowers cortisol) and even releases mood-enhancing chemicals (commonly known as endorphins), which help us cope with stress better. When it comes to combating anxiety, not only endorphins, but also finding a new focus in exercise as well as the sense of accomplishment can become your antidepressant. ‘Throw’ some mediation and healthy diet into the mix and you’re on the certain path to general wellness and happiness, not to mention looking your best.

Know what you eat, be aware of you macronutrients and how they affect your body and mind. Eat clean, organic and unprocessed foods and learn to meditate. Sit, stand or lie in a basic position, close your eyes and try to focus on ‘now’. Forget all the ‘what ifs’ and switch off. Feel your body, the air on your face, relax. As trivial as it may sound, try it – it really works!

It may take some effort to learn this holistic approach to health and wellbeing but your determination will pay off!