Most of us may consider stress to be just a normal part of life. However, when not managed properly, stress can be damaging – contributing to insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
According to Tammy Birbeck, DO, an obstetrician/gynecologist with ProMedica Physicians, there are five simple things you can do to reduce or cope with stress:
1. Breathe – Making an effort to breathe in a slow and gentle pattern can calm the automatic nervous system and make you feel more relaxed in times of stress.
2. Sleep – Aim for six to eight hours of sleep each night to restore your energy and help your body repair damage caused by stress.
3. Eat nutritiously – Sugary and fatty foods deplete your body of nutrients and can affect your mood negatively, making your stress levels increase.
4. Exercise – Even adding a little bit of movement to your day can boost your endorphins, clear your mind from stressful thoughts and improve your sleep.
5. Seek support – The stress you’re feeling is very real. Seek help from a friend, family member, supportive boss or support group when it’s too much to handle on your own.
These simple stress-reducers will help you stay happy and healthy, even during life’s most challenging moments.