Think back to a time when you felt at peace.
Did you also feel happier?
Stress can leave us feeling both mentally and physically exhausted. It can affect many different aspects of our lives from our sleep to our appetite and mental health. To fight stress symptoms and feel happier, these simple ideas can help.
- Write down happy memories
When we’re feeling stressed, we tend to be focusing on the negatives. After a while, negative thought patterns can become overwhelming. Once you start ruminating on your problems, it’s hard to break the cycle. Consider purchasing a journal, and using it to write down memories that make you feel happier. You don’t have to write a long entry, simply focus on a happy experience, and note down a few sentences. Repeat this practice once a day. Focus on the positives and reflect on why that experience made you feel grateful.
Improve your diet
A poor diet leaves us lacking energy and feeling physically drained. When we lack nutrients and feel sluggish, this activates the stress response in our bodies. To fight stress, improving your diet is the first step. Focus on whole foods and increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. Consume plenty of foods that boost the immune system. To help you to improve your diet you might like to try downloading a healthy eating app. A few options include the Green Kitchen app and the Superfood app.
According to Headspace, ‘Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment.’ The idea is to be aware of your feelings, without judging them, or getting distracted. When we worry about the future or dwell on the past this makes us feel stressed and agitated. Practicing mindfulness is about calming the mind, and remaining in the present. There are plenty of activities you can use to practice mindfulness including deep breathing, meditation, or expressing gratitude. To get started with meditation, try reading a meditation book for beginners.
The right supplements
Plant-based supplements are beneficial for both the mind and the body. Many supplements can help to ease feelings of stress. Some of the best supplements for stress include passionflower, ashwagandha, CBD, and valerian. If you don’t enjoy taking capsules, you can purchase some supplements with a gummy coating. When you are taking plant-based supplements always follow the stated dose, and read any allergy guidelines.
Raise your endorphins
When you’re feeling stressed out you need to raise your endorphin levels. Exercise is one of the best activities, you can also try creating art, listening to music, or even eating chocolate. When you’re planning your exercise routine consider giving yourself a new challenge. Try something you’ve never done before, whether it’s a new dance class or a niche sports hobby. To improve your mental health, exercise and new hobbies are a great start.
A lot of the time, easing stress is about getting the basics right. Ensure that you get plenty of sleep, avoid excess caffeine, and practice self-care.
Elise Ho, Ph.D., D.N.Psy
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