Today’s society is fast-paced: We go, go, go! It’s exhausting, and it can seem impossible to juggle work, home life, and everyday stressors. Stress can impact every aspect of our lives and be detrimental to our health, so it’s important to find ways to alleviate it — like exercise, meditation, getting 8 hours of sleep, and eating “smart.” Exercise is the best form of stress relief because it causes the brain to release more endorphins, which cause you to feel happier and more relaxed. If you prefer something more mellow, try meditation or yoga; they allow the body and mind to experience deep relaxation.
Foods that can help relieve stress:
- Avocado: Packed with potassium, avocados help regulate blood pressure.
- Swiss Chard: Swiss chard and other green leafy veggies contain magnesium which helps balance cortisol levels and reduce the activity of neurons in the brain.
- Fatty Fish: Tuna, salmon and other fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can help regulate adrenaline levels, reducing anxiety symptoms.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains contain fiber that helps you feel full. They also contain complex carbohydrates that help regulate blood sugar and trigger the brain to release serotonin.
- Nuts: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios contain Vitamin B which helps replenish energy levels. Nuts also contain antioxidants, other vitamins, and zinc, which help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Dark Chocolate: 70% cocoa or higher reduces cortisol and other stress hormones.
Combining these foods with regular physical activity and adequate sleep will be your best bet for keeping stress to a minimum. Finally, don’t skip meals or go too long without eating. This can cause a drop in blood sugar which can worsen stress and anxiety symptoms. Movement + Smart Foods + Sleep = A Mellower You!