5 Steps to Fortifying Your Body against Stress
Most people already know that stress can trigger depression, anxiety, and even insomnia – but what they don’t know is that it also affects you physically. Stress can push you towards unhealthy coping mechanisms such as excessive drinking, eating sugary foods, and smoking. In the long term, the effect of consistent stress on your body can wage war on your wellbeing, and your health.
Left unacknowledged and ignored, stress can cause people to develop serious illnesses, including depression, heart disease, diabetes, and anxiety. It can even take steps towards speeding up certain kinds of cancer. As annoying as the stomach knots and twitches might be, most doctors suggest that you should appreciate the moments when your body warns you about stress. These little nudges are the heads-up that can poke you into taking better care of yourself.
Aside from all the physical issues that leave you feeling crummy, too much stress can also impact the way that you age on a cellular level. This means that the more time you spend stressing out, the more likely you are to have unattractive wrinkles and greying hair. Researchers have suggested that particularly high cortisol levels that occur due to chronic stress damage and destroy elastin and collagen, leaving you with saggy skin. So how can you make your body a fortress against stress?
1. Be Greedy (Sometimes)
Studies conducted in nutrition have found that forcing yourself to constantly restrict your calorie intake can lead towards a significant jump in your cortisol levels. This doesn’t mean that you should eat all of the junk food that you want on a daily basis, but reaching for a treat every now and again could help to improve your well-being. Try to find a balance between starving your body of all the things it wants, and over-feeding your cravings.
2. Calm Yourself with Vitamin C
The more stress that you experience on a daily basis, the more vitamin C you end up losing through the day. According to research conducted in the journal of conditioning and strength, taking as little as a gram of extra vitamin C a day can help to lower the cortisol levels in most weightlifters.
At the same time, enhanced vitamin C intake leveled out their testosterone to cortisol ratio by about twenty percent, improving training recovery and aiding in the building of new muscle. There are a number of ways that you can go about improving your vitamin C intake, from eating pomegranates and strawberries, to broccoli, guava, and mango.
3. PS Supplements
A university in Naples found that phosphatidylserine can lower the levels of cortisol in your system by as much as 30%. These findings were then supported by further research in California, which discovered that consuming PS supplements can also help to reduce the amount of soreness that you feel in your muscles after a particularly painful workout. The sources of PS that can be found in your diet are relatively sparse, with eggs being the best option. The chances are that you’re more likely to benefit from taking supplements instead.
4. Boost Your B5
Research conducted in a review for alternative health medication discovered that the increased intake of vitamin B5 could reduce the production of cortisol in particularly stressful situations. You can boost your B-levels in a number of ways, from cauliflower to broccoli, salmon, whole grains, and more.
If you don’t feel like changing up your diet, you should be able to find a number of different supplement pills available on the market. If you can, try to pick up some pills that also include a small dose of magnesium. This is because the research has found that a lack of magnesium can enhance the amount of damage stress does to the heart muscle.
5. Get More Sleep
There are a number of health advantages to getting more sleep, and the first one is usually that you simply feel better the more rested you are. Regular sleep is the number one factor in recovering from stress, so if you find yourself suffering on a regular basis, you may need to consider your bedtime routines more seriously.
Try sleeping in a room completely devoid of light, and set out your schedule so that you are going to sleep and waking at just about the same time every day. Also, make sure that you eat a diet that is heavy in chicken, eggs, salmon and yogurt – all items with plenty of B12. It may not seem relevant, but scientists have discovered that B12 can be pivotal in improving your sleep rhythm.
About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.