Thursday, February 1, 2024

3 Tips for Reducing Your Stress Hormone Levels.

July 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comThere’s no denying that life can be stressful. At certain times, we all have hurdles to overcome, and grief and hardship to come to terms with.

But it’s increasingly the case in the modern world that we’re not just subjected to the normal acute stresses of life — such as losing a job — but that we’re also hounded constantly by the chronic stress that comes from living in always-on, always-wired world full of drama, gossip, and threat.

There’s no escaping the office for the weekend anymore, since we have our work email connected to our smartphones. There’s no getting away from the mind-numbing buzz of he-said, she-said celebrity gossip, because it’s on all the TV networks, internet ads, magazine racks, billboards.

But chronic stress is devastating to one’s health. Among other things, chronically elevated levels of stress hormones such as cortisol impair mental function and harm the immune system.

Since the world isn’t changing any time soon, the trick is to reduce your stress by focusing on your own lifestyle. Here are some tips for removing some of the chronic stress from your life.

Consider dropping the stimulants

Caffeine and nicotine are stimulant drugs, similar in their effects (if not their magnitude) to street drugs like cocaine and amphetamine.

One of the primary ways in which these stimulants work to keep us “alert” is by sharply elevating the levels of various stress hormones in our bodies, such as adrenaline.

As we come to rely on these substances more and more, the effects on our hormones become more and more chronic and insidious.

Many people who suffer from anxiety and mood swings are amazed by just how calm they become, every day, simply by removing stimulants from their lives and toughing it through the first weeks or months.

Eat more healthy carbs

High-fat, low-carb diets have become extremely popular in recent times, with certain commentators claiming that they are the panacea for everything from depression to obesity to heart disease.

While there may be certain benefits to such a diet, particularly for people with certain medical conditions, it’s worth knowing that there’s another side to the coin.

Carbs play a crucial role in helping our bodies to relax and enter into the “rest and feed” state dominated by the parasympathetic nervous system.

Low carb diets invariably lead to increased levels of various stress hormones, and may also contribute to mental fatigue and stress, as the brain’s preferred fuel source is glucose — primarily derived from carbohydrates.

Visit green spaces more often

Nature can have an extremely soothing effect, and at least one study found evidence that people in hospital beds who had a view of a tree from their window, recovered faster and enjoyed a better mood as well.

Simply getting away from the heart of the concrete jungle and taking a stroll, or sitting down to read a book in your local park, may help tremendously in calming your nerves.

If you have a garden, the same benefits apply, and buying some outdoor furniture from Park Bench Warehouse could help you to transform your own plot of green space into a personal paradise for calm and contemplation.

Staff Writer; Brenda Brown

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