Part 6- The Best Lifestyle Habits That Relieve Stress (Eat Your Way To Calm)

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 When you try to give up these habits… which ones are the best to give up or replace? Often, replacing a habit with another habit can be a great way to help you quit the first one.

For example, those individuals who smoke may want to replace smoking cigarettes with vaping. This is less harmful and provides them with something to do instead of lighting up a cigarette. Others prefer to swap harmful habits for good ones like deciding to start exercising to give them something else to do.

Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the best lifestyle habits that you can have when it comes to improving your mental health. It helps you keep your stress levels under control. Taking part in physical activities such as walking, running, cycling, and swimming can boost physical fitness, improve strength, and increase self-esteem. Exercising itself releases feel-good chemicals in the brain and has been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

If you are looking for a great workout program check out my review of Yoga Burn!

Meditation

When it comes to combatting stress, meditation is a great habit to take up and integrate into your lifestyle. For centuries, meditation has been used to help people find the positive energy inside themselves. It also helps one to feel more connected and at peace with the world around them. Those who meditate regularly find that stressful situations no longer overwhelm them as much.

Whether you are spiritual or not, there is no doubt that mindfulness meditation can help you feel more relaxed and in control. Even the act of taking the time to sit in silence and collect your thoughts can help to reduce stress. Meditation requires you to breathe deeply, which will oxygenate your brain and give you more energy. Mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere and at any time. It is like your portable stress reliever. You can also use a range of essential oils or music to aid you during your meditation sessions. This is what I do!

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Creativity

Getting creative can be one of the best ways to deal with stress. The best part is you don’t have to be an artist in order to be successful. There have been many studies which directly link using the creative side of your brain to reduce stress. There are many adult coloring books that have been used to lower stress. I have even used them myself and I love it! The simple act of coloring in pictures, or perhaps doing something creative such as baking, cooking, needlework or even DIY projects, can be very therapeutic. Having some distractions from your thoughts and focusing on something else is another stress reliever in and of itself as well. So, if you’re feeling stressed out, it might be time to take up a new creative hobby.

Friends and Family

People who are mentally strong do not dissociate themselves from those who are closest to them. When you’re feeling stressed out, it can be easy to try and hide your stress levels from your family members and close friends. It’s only natural as you do not want to worry them. However, knowing when to ask for support and having the best people around you to offer that, can be very important if you want to effectively manage your stress. Having somebody to talk to and confide in about whatever is stressing you out can help you by giving you an outsider’s perspective. This will allow your own thoughts to be put into better perspective. Along with that, having people to turn to can stop you from putting too much pressure on yourself. This will give you more time to relax and keep on top of your mental health.

These are just some of the many different lifestyle habits that can help you to relieve stress in your life. Definitely try some of these ways out and let me know in the comments below how they have helped you!

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

 

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 6- The Best Lifestyle Habits That Relieve Stress (Eat Your Way To Calm), remember to like, share, and comment below.

 

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Part 5-Knowing What Is Stressing You Out Will Piss You Off (Eat Your Way To Calm)

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Unhealthy lifestyle habits are some of the biggest stressors. You may not realize it, but some of the habits you do on a regular basis could actually be a huge contributor to your stress levels. Do you lift a cigarette to your mouth whenever you’re feeling stressed and anxious?

Or, do you turn to alcohol to help you relax? Maybe you drink more cups of coffee in a day than you should. Maybe you stay up late working to find solutions to fix whatever is causing you stress? The thing is, doing any of these can usually make your stress worse.

Smoking

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Stress and smoking tend to have a direct relationship with one another. For many people, having a cigarette is what they turn to when they are stressed out. They may feel that inhaling the smoke from the cigarette calms them and helps them to clear their head. It could also be having that sense of control when you inhale and exhale the smoke. For smokers, being addicted to nicotine itself can actually cause stress levels to rise. When the body is deprived of nicotine, stress can be a huge symptom of cravings.

Since having a cigarette quenches the nicotine cravings, the smoker begins to associate having a cigarette with feeling less stressed. On the other hand, smoking marijuana can actually have the opposite effect. If you live in a state where marijuana is legal for either medical or recreational use, you may be able to try using cannabis to help with stress and anxiety.

Drinking Alcohol

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The problem with turning to alcohol when you are stressed out is that alcohol is a depressant. Have you ever noticed that you feel happier when you are in a good mood when you drink? If you drink when you’re feeling down, you only end up feeling worse? This is because alcohol tends to heighten whichever mood you were in when you were sober. If you drink alcohol when you’re stressed, you could end up feeling worse.

Along with that, alcohol can impair your judgment of situations, therefore getting drunk when you’re stressed out could lead to some regrettable decisions. For this reason, it’s vital to consume alcohol in moderation in order to help you manage your stress levels. For example, one glass of red wine per night can actually be good for your health, but it’s important to avoid overconsuming.

Caffeine

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In moderate amounts, caffeine can actually be good for you. It speeds up the metabolism and gives your body an energy boost, which can be useful in many situations. However, relying on caffeine can actually make you feel less energized, tired, and sluggish which in turn can lead to increased levels of stress. If you rely on multiple cups of coffee throughout the day in order to feel awake or have even turned to energy drinks or caffeine tablets, this could actually be causing you to feel more stressed.

When your body’s relying on caffeine for energy, you will experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms when you’ve not had your cup of coffee. If you’re relying on caffeine for your energy, it’s important to cut down gradually. Cutting out caffeine altogether could lead to mild to severe withdrawal symptoms, depending on your level of dependence. These could include headaches, aches and pains, feeling lethargic, and of course stress.

Sleeping Habits

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Your sleeping habits are integral to your mental health. How well you sleep at night has a direct correlation to your stress levels. If you’re getting enough sleep and at the right times, you will wake up feeling more refreshed and with a clearer mind. But, busy life and other things can get in the way of us having a good night’s sleep. In order to make sure that you are fully rested and reap as many health benefits as possible, you should be aiming to have around 7 hours of sleep per night. Waking up early can also have some great health benefits. Due to this, you should look to go to bed before midnight at the very latest.

Clearing your mind before you sleep is a vital part of making sure you get a good night’s rest too. One of the biggest mistakes many people make today is taking their technology (laptops, iPhone, iPad, Tablets, etc) to bed with them. When you go to bed with your technology in hand, your mind will begin to associate getting in bed with working, rather than resting. This affects your ability to fall into a restful sleep.

Not allowing yourself time to relax when getting into bed, can lead to issues such as insomnia or feeling tired and unrefreshed every morning. In order to get the best sleep every night, you should make your bedroom a tech-free zone after a certain time of the evening. Listening to soft music and using an essential oil diffuser can be great for setting the sleepy mood and allowing yourself to relax and float away into a deep and peaceful sleep each night.

Social Habits

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You may not think about it, but your social habits can also contribute to your stress levels. The people you spend time with and confide in can either be helpful or harmful. When you are feeling stressed out, it’s important to surround yourself with people whom you trust to give you the best support. Understanding how to ask for support and who to turn to can be hugely important when dealing with increased levels of stress and anxiety. Sometimes it feels as if some people know exactly which buttons to press to increase your stress levels.

Understanding who is contributing to your stress is vital to managing it. Sometimes, the people who cause our stress can mean little to us or a lot. Sometimes it’s harder to get away from the people who stress you out. Perhaps they’re your relative or maybe your boss. In this case, it’s crucial to understand how they stress you out. Sometimes, talking to someone who is causing you to feel stressed out and explaining how you feel in a calm manner can be helpful. Not only will you feel better off, but it can also strengthen your relationship with the other person.

These are just a few of the situations that can cause stress in our lives. Having the tools to be able to combat stress and gain better control of the situations you are in can truly change the course of your day!

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

 

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 5- Knowing What Is Stressing You Out Will Piss You Off (Eat Your Way To Calm), remember to like, share, and comment below.

P.P.S.-If you want to check out the whole series, click HERE!

 

Part 4-The Reason Why Your Mental Health Is Suffering (Eat Your Way To Calm)

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Being able to exercise regularly has a wide range of benefits for your mental health. When you exercise, endorphins are released in your brain which will make you feel happier and help you to clear your mind.

Since exercising regularly can help to improve your physical appearance, this can give your self-esteem a boost. As a result, your self-confidence will increase and that can help lower stress tremendously.

Health Benefits

Along with that, exercise is important for keeping you in good physical health. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help to prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even some cancers. Poor physical health can be one of the biggest causes of stress. Exercising regularly can help to reduce this by helping us to shift our focus and release any tension we may be feeling. Regular exercise can also help with muscle or joint pain. That is one less stressor you would have to deal with in life!

Getting Started With Exercise

If your lifestyle has been more on the sedentary side recently (this is me), there’s nothing to worry about. Even a gentle amount of exercise can help improve your stress levels. If you’re thinking of increasing your physical activity or haven’t worked out in a while, I recommend starting off slow. This will allow your body to have time to get used to the increase in activity as well as gradually improve your strength and endurance. Jumping straight from the sofa to a strenuous exercise routine can actually do more harm than good. So, don’t feel bad if you can only do a little bit at first. As you continue to practice, you will be able to increase the amount that you do each day.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is one of the best exercises you can do in order to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. It is designed to not only improve strength and balance, but it also helps to clear the mind and help you let go of negative thoughts and feelings. Taking part in yoga, can also strengthen your mind and help you to feel more at peace with yourself and everything around you.

Yoga is often associated with mindfulness meditation, which can be extremely useful for dealing with stress and anxiety. It teaches you how to observe your thoughts and not give them any energy. By not giving them any energy, you are not allowing them to rule your life. You are more than your thoughts.

Another benefit of yoga is the social aspect! Joining a yoga class has many different benefits. For starters, you get the physical and mental health that comes with it. You also reap the social benefits of meeting new friends and building a support system. That support system is something that can help you during difficult situations.

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

 

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 4- The Reason Why Your Mental Health Is Suffering (Eat Your Way To Calm), remember to like, share, and comment below.

P.P.S.-If you want to check out the whole series, click HERE!

 

Part 3-This Is Why You Need To Be More Active (Eat Your Way To Calm)

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Cardiovascular exercise has been proven to have a wide range of health benefits besides weight loss and increased fitness. It has also been shown in studies to actually reduce the symptoms of depression. When it comes to dealing with stress, taking part in regular exercise is crucial.

Best Stress-Busting Exercises

If you’ve ever been stressed out and went outside to ‘walk it off’, you’ve probably found that this approach actually works. Exercise, no matter how gentle, can often be the best thing for stress and anxiety. Walking has been proven to have a number of huge physical and mental health benefits. So if you’re not used to exercising a lot or don’t want to join your local gym, there’s nothing to worry about. Simply going for a walk could be enough to help you feel better and clear your head.

If something has been getting to you all day, going for a walk can be the best, quick-acting antidepressant. This is exceptionally true if it’s a nice day. You are not only clearing your head, but you are also getting some sunshine as well. Vitamin D is absolutely crucial for mental health. Simply heading for a walk up the road or setting off to your local park to wander around for a while can help to take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out so you can put things into perspective.

Walking is a simple exercise that most of us can easily do. It releases endorphins which create feelings of increased happiness and euphoria. If you’re feeling like stress is taking over, hit the pavement for 10 minutes or go take your dog for a walk can be a quick solution.

Your Regular Active Routine

Did you know that regular exercise can help with feeling anxious and stressed out in the long run. It is also a great ‘quick fix’ too. Doctors recommend that people who are suffering from chronic stress, depression or anxiety, make sure that they get plenty of time in the gym. But, don’t worry! If you can’t or don’t want to join a gym, there are plenty of exercises you can do from the comfort of your home.

For maximum results, you should mix a range of cardiovascular and weight training exercises. For example, this could include walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, along with exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups, crunches, and stretches. Combining these types of exercises will not only improve your mental health, but you will also reap the benefits of a stronger and healthier body.

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 3- This Is Why You Need To Be More Active (Eat Your Way To Calm), remember to like, share, and comment below.

P.S.S.- Looking for a great way to get active again? Check out this workout program!

P.P.P.S.-If you want to check out the whole series, click HERE!

 

Part 2-This Is How You Put Together Your Diet Plan (Eat Your Way To Calm)

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Having a plan for your meals is wise to not only stay physically fit and healthy, but to also stay mentally strong. Being able to manage your levels of stress will help you be a happier person overall.

The best way to do this is knowing which foods to avoid and which to reach for when you are feeling worried and anxious. By knowing this, it will help you have a leg up over your stress.

Knowing What Not To Eat When Feeling Stressed Out

When you’re feeling stressed out, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run. Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it, can help you to feel better in both the short and long term.

It’s important to make sure that for the most part, you have a diet that is healthy and balanced. In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for the week. Planning ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen is key to keeping your stress in check. Set yourself up for success and create meals and snacks with these different foods when you feel like stress eating.

Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will make you feel healthier both physically and mentally. Remember, the foods you eat can contribute to your stress levels.

Stress-Busting Menu Example:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-Morning Snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon Snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before Bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu, but it gives you a good foundation to build upon and have an idea of what to eat. Remember to exercise and use good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocados. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with good wholesome foods which are good for your mental health.

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 2- This Is How You Put Together Your Diet Plan (Eat Your Way To Calm), remember to like, share, and comment below.

P.P.S- Need another great idea you can add to your diet? Check out these green smoothies!

P.P.P.S.-If you want to check out the whole series, click HERE!

Part 1- This Is How You Create A Stress Busting Diet (Eat Your Way To Calm)

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When stress comes along into your life, you are more likely to opt-in for those traditional ‘comfort’ foods such as fast food and possibly alcohol(aka wine/beer). Let’s face it…we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty, greasy hamburger with french fries on the side, a bottle of beer or a glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods each time you are down in the dumps, you can feel better temporarily. In the long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate. All of this can lead to even more stress and then the cycle continues.

Foods That Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods can help to alleviate stress and which ones to avoid to help you to combat stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of your diet, is the best way to ensure that your body is getting the optimum amount of nutrients. This will aid in fighting both physical and mental health problems.

There are many foods out there that have a range of great properties to combat stress. Choosing stress-busting foods will aid the body in healing and calming your mind, rather than providing a temporary fix. Take a look at my ‘Top 5 Foods That Combat Stress’. Add the foods from that list to this new one and you have your stress fight diet! Let’s take a look at some other foods and drinks you can add to your list…

Chamomile Tea

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It’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress. What you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen stress too. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother and it has also been used in clinical trials. Those trials determined that this tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Beef

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Grass-fed beef is also good for you as it has a huge range of antioxidants. These antioxidants include beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. These vitamins can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef while being higher in omega-3.

Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food. It also has a large number of healthy property to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin. Serotonin helps you feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning. This is compared to kids who had an alternative breakfast.

Walnuts

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If you’re looking for a healthy snack option that will help you manage your stress levels better, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts. They can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.

Pistachios

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Another food that is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating 2 small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day lowers vascular constriction when you are stressed out. By doing this, it puts less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!

Green Leafy Vegetables

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Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease. Dark leafy greens, for example, spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate. Folate helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.

Fermented Foods

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Last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy.  This, in turn, will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels too. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods actually have a direct effect on your brain’s chemistry.  They transmit positive mood and behavior-regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

These are just some of the many different foods that help to reduce your stress levels. Try to incorporate these different food items into your diet and begin to enjoy a calmer you!

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on the Part 1-This Is How You Create A Stress Busting Diet (Eat Your Way To Calm), remember to like, share, and comment below.

P.P.S. – Want to really jumpstart your stress-busting diet? Check out this 7 Day Organic Detox to fully cleanse the body!

P.P.P.S.-If you want to check out the whole series, click HERE!

 

This Is How You Eat Your Way To Calm

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Stress… It’s a normal part of human life that increases and decreases depending on what’s going on in our personal, professional, or academic lives at specific times. Although at some point, each of us will feel stressed out about something. Some people are affected more by stress than others.

If left unchecked, stress can turn into further problems, such as anxiety or depression. Because of this, understanding how to prevent, manage and control your stress with your diet and your lifestyle is absolutely crucial. Understanding what you put into your body can help your mental state is absolutely vital to living a life that is stress-free.

Often, when it comes to dealing with and reducing stress, we think about removing our ‘stressors’ from our lives. For example, if a person is increasingly feeling stressed out and anxious in the workplace, they may look to change departments, companies, or even careers. Another example would be a couple who no longer get along, choosing to break up or divorce to get rid of the source of their stress. However, although steering clear of situations or people who stress you out can definitely help, one of the main things which affect stress is your diet and lifestyle.

Since it may not always be possible to remove yourself from stressful situations immediately, making the right dietary and lifestyle changes is important to help you deal with and manage stress. Your diet and exercise habits don’t only affect your physical health. They can have a huge impact on your mental health as well.

What You Will Learn Throughout This Series:

  • The various foods which can improve your overall mental health and help you manage stress
  • Why exercise is absolutely vital to combating stress
  • The lifestyle habits that are stressing you out more than you may realize
  • Healthy habits to combat stress
  • Relaxation techniques for life
  • How to recognize the need for a lifestyle change
  • And much more!

We all have experienced being stressed out at some point in our lives. Although, a small amount of stress can actually be good when it comes to motivating somebody to work hard to reach their goals. Whether that be personally, professionally, or academically, having too much stress can actually have the opposite effect and can cause you to feel like you are ‘shutting down’.

Side Effects of Stress

Common side effects of high-stress levels include lack of focus, trouble concentrating, migraines (like me) frequently forgetting things, nosy bleeds, dreams about talking life-sized spiders or even feeling like your mind has gone completely blank. Yea the last few ones were weird, that literally happens to me when my stress levels are too high.

Since trying to ignore your stress won’t make it go away, it’s important to know exactly what to do in order to help your stress levels manageable and easy to control. One of the best ways to take control of the amount of stress you are feeling is to take control of your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. When your diet and lifestyle are working together in your favor to combat and fight stress, you will find that you are better able to control any feelings of worry or anxiety that come up.

Remember that what you put into your body isn’t just important for your physical health, but for your mental health as well!

Stay on the lookout for another installment of Eating Your Way To Calm.

To your health,

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Morgan Green

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on the This Is How You Eat Your Way To Calm, remember to like, share, and comment below.