Causes of stress have never been as prevalent as they are today. On a worldwide scale there is an economy that is desperately struggling, the threat of war and terrorism and a distrust of governmental figures. If those aren’t enough to cause a person stress, we all have individual problems to pile up on top of them! Long working hours, money worries and caring for a family are just a few issues most of us have to contend with.
The “Stress Industry” is full of experts and products that promise you they’ll help remove all the stress from your life. Well unfortunately stress is here to stay and, short of death, there is no way to escape it. However there are steps you can take to remove a great deal of stress from your life, and help you cope better with any stress remains. I’m a big advocate of hypnotherapy and correct nutrition in dealing with stress, and in this article I am going to focus on the importance of nutrition
The first change you should aim to make is to reassess your drinking habits. I’m constantly amazed when I walk around town when I see people going about their business with an almost bucket sized cup of coffee in their hand. Caffeine is a stimulant which causes anxiety, headaches, poor sleep and increases heart rate – effectively replicating the symptoms of stress! It’s not just coffee that contains high amounts of caffeine though, soft drinks are guilty as charged too. Couple the caffeine with the ludicrous volumes of sugar, additives and flavourings in soft drinks and you have a perfect recipe for a Stress Cocktail!
What am I going to tell you to cut next – alcohol?
Shockingly enough, no. When drunk in moderation, and emphasise the word moderation, studies show that alcohol can actually help reduce levels of stress. So if you feel like a glass of wine or a beer, go ahead… just make sure it doesn’t turn into three or more.
So what do I suggest you replace coffee and soft drinks with? If you guessed water then give yourself a gold star! Water replenishes the body and makes life much easier for every system that keeps you alive and well. Six to eight glasses a day should get the job done and despite what bottled water companies tell you, tap water is just as healthy and mineral rich as the bottled variety. Not only will you feel better but you should save yourself a tidy bit of money on those $5 coffees too.
There are two vitamins which are especially important to keep yourself topped up on if you wish to reduce your stress levels and maintain it. They’re not hard vitamins to find in foods so this should be a doddle for you.
Vitamin C – Our adrenal glands produces a hormone called cortical, known by some as the “stress hormone”. Vitamin C is necessary in the production of cortical which keeps stress at a stable level. If you’re someone who can go from being perfectly calm to a stress monster in a matter of minutes then the chances are your diet is low on Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is plentiful in citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin B – Serotonin levels rise when your diet is rich with Vitamin B. Serotonic is a neurotransmitter which keeps the mind calm while also aiding your quality of sleep.
Foods which contain Vitamin B include seafood, lean meat, dairy, eggs, wholegrains, nuts and pulses.
As an added bonus many of the above sources of Vitamins B and C also contain good amounts of magnesium which reduces irritability.
There it is, all the nutrients you need to reduce your stress. When you reduce your stress levels your immune system also improves. Not only will you feel more relaxed in general you’ll be less prone to illness. All that just from making a few changes to your drinking habits and adding a few nutrients to your diet!