In June, I wrote about 3 Steps I’m Taking to Manage Stress Better. One step was to call a heath coach. I called a health coach (available through our health insurance) several weeks ago, and specifically discussed techniques to relax and lower stress levels. Here are some of the things we talked about …
- Drink orange juice
- Chew gum
- Take deep breaths
- Organize your home (reduce clutter)
You can find other techniques to manage stress by searching online. Here’s one article from WebMD.
I was already practicing some of these things (exercising, journaling occasionally, and drinking orange), but some of them can easily be added or improved. For example, at times in my life, I have exercised too heavy (I’ve read that heavy exercise actually increases stress levels in the body, while light/moderate exercise reduces stress levels).
Over the last several weeks, I have also researched foods that help fight stress naturally by reducing stress levels and/or increasing healthy chemicals in the body. WebMD has a good basic list here.
I have made some simple but dramatic changes to my diet. One of the most significant changes is dramatically reducing sugar in my diet (I’ve had to because sugar has acted as a trigger that increases my heart rate). The American Heart Association recommends daily maximums of 36 grams for men and 24 grams for women (that’s not a lot!). While I’ve had to reduce sugar in my diet out of necessity, it has been a good a change.
None of this is a quick fix, but these changes are worth making!
Well, I still plan to write a more detailed post about the last three months, but I want to make sure it’s clearly in the rearview mirror first!