Our bodies were built to handle short term stress. Chronic stress is when our body is in a continuous state of stress and our stress hormones are kept elevated. This can lead to physical, mental and emotional health issues, inflammation, unbalanced hormones, sleep problems, disease, excess body fat, moodiness, irritability, depression and low testosterone.
There are countless negative effects caused by chronic stress, so it's crucial to address this problem and to achieve a more balanced life to support improved health. Pay attention to what triggers your stress. Your work? Toxic relationships? The news? Lack of money? When you identify the sources of your stress you can start to reduce or eliminate them.
Here are 5 ways to attack chronic stress:
1. Schedule Regular Downtime
Do you make time for yourself? Self-care is important to tackle chronic stress. We need regular and consistent downtime to get grounded, to relax and de-stress. This helps balance out the stress in our lives. Take a bath, read, go on a nature walk, meditate or start Tai Chi. Find some activities that help you unwind, that you really enjoy, and do them often.
2. Prioritize Sleep
Getting enough good quality sleep helps us to better cope with the daily stresses of life.
Exercise is a great release and the endorphins will counter balance your stress.
A healthy, balanced diet is important for reducing stress. Supplements to help with stress are: vitamin D, a good B-complex and magnesium (stress depletes your magnesium reserves so this one is important).
5. Reduce/Eliminate Stress Sources
When you have identified your stress triggers, see if there is a way to reduce or eliminate any of them. News and social media can be powerful sources of stress. Take breaks from them, you'll feel the difference.