Tags: stress | health | anxiety

How to Stop Stress From Killing You

A stressed office worker
A stressed office worker (Wutthichai Luemuang/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 July 2019 08:46 AM

Stress can wreak havoc on your body and exacerbate chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and even erectile dysfunction. The statistics are staggering. According to the American Institute of Stress, 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago. Work stress causes 10% of strokes. And stress increases the risk of heart disease by a whopping 40%, heart attack by 25%, and shrinks the brain.

While we can't eliminate stress completely, Jessica Cording M.S., RD. and author of "The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress and Anxiety," tells Newsmax that adopting these changes into their lives has helped her clients deal with the stress that throws them off the track toward their goals.

  1. Plan your meals carefully. "Make sure that your meals provide a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates with half your plate for both lunch and dinner being vegetables," says the expert. To make life easier, prep your veggies once or twice a week so that the peeling and chopping are already done.
  2. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy. It makes it a lot easier to be consistent when you are having fun.
  3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Numerous studies have shown that becoming even a little dehydrated can increase the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. "Make it convenient to drink by having a bottle you like to use, setting alerts on your phone, or establishing a habit of drinking water at regular times each day," Cording says.
  4. Cultivate a morning and evening routine to help you get into a stable wake-up and sleep cycle.
  5. Put yourself on your calendar to remind yourself that self-care is important. Whether it's scheduling a massage or simply talking a walk in nature, make time for yourself.
  6. Have a "loneliness" game plan to avoid slipping into unhelpful and unhealthy coping mechanisms when you feel lonely and blue.
  7. Journal your feelings to gain an understanding of what sets you off. "Even five minutes a day can make a difference," says Cording.
  8. Set aside daily "worry time." To avoid stress and anxiety from nagging you from dawn to dusk, Cording recommends allotting two 10-minute periods during each day to identify and realize exactly what's troubling you. Scheduling worry time allows us to be more mindful of the way we worry and helps us compartmentalize our anxiety.

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Stress can wreak havoc on your body and exacerbate chronic diseases, but there are ways to deal with and manage it.
stress, health, anxiety
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 08:46 AM
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