You’re sitting next to your colleagues, waiting to be called to the podium to give an important presentation. As the person currently standing there concludes their speech, you start to feel it: your stress hormones at work. Your breathing gets faster, your heartbeat quickens, and your muscles prepare for action. All you want to do is get out of there.
Your stress response was designed to protect you from sudden danger by enabling you to act quickly. It can be a positive and motivating force, such as when you’re under pressure to pass an important exam or do well at work. The problem is that stress overload has harmful effects.According to a 2014 Statistics Canada survey, 23% of Canadians over the age of 15 reported high levels of stress in their lives, and found it disruptive. Signs of chronic stress include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- Weakened immune system
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate stress from our lives, we can use constructive ways to manage it. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.
All forms of exercise are potent stress relievers. Yoga, aerobics, and strength training all improve your sense of well-being and increase your overall health. When your body is in motion, endorphin production goes up, making you feel better mentally and emotionally as well. Although this phenomenon is commonly referred to as “runner’s high”, most invigorating exercise can achieve the same result.
A Healthy Diet
There’s a difference between comfort foods, which are often used as a form of emotional anaesthesia, and foods that are naturally calming. The latter contain nutrients that energize you, repair stress-related damage, and restore a sense of balance. Examples include:
Asparagus: rich in folate, which helps your body produce serotonin, dopamine, and other mood-improving neurotransmitters.
Avocados: contain glutathione, which can prevent oxidative damage.
Berries: rich in Vitamin C, which combats stress.
Cashews: excellent source of zinc, which can reduce anxiety and depression.
Dark chocolate: known to lower blood pressure and restore feelings of calm.
Garlic: contains allicin, which helps defend against heart disease, and even colds and flus brought on by stress.
The Right Supplementation
Our bodies experience physical and psychological stress with the same intensity, so supplementing a balanced diet and regular exercise with a quality multivitamin can help restore equilibrium. activ-X from Platinum Naturals is an award-winning sports supplement formulated for athletes who push themselves to the max. A carefully blended combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbal ingredients restore lost energy, undo stress-related physical damage, and make you more resilient in the face of future stressors.
Although activ-X is formulated for athletes, we can all benefit from the extra support it delivers, whether you are a weekend warrior or professional athlete.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, which is why finding the right stress relievers will improve your quality of life. The strategies discussed above can help you remain calm, improve your physical health, and put you in a better position to handle day-to-day stress.