Living under a prolonged state of stress can impact both your physical and mental health by manifesting in countless forms, such as a weakened immune system, facial tics, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal upset, headaches, chest pain, insomnia and anxiety. While it can be difficult to completely eliminate stress from your life, there are stress management tools that can lessen its detrimental effects.

Proper Nutrition and Regular Exercise can Combat the Effects of Stress

Two of the most beneficial stress management tools are proper nutrition and regular exercise. Proper nutrition is known to stabilize your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, while boosting your immune system and strengthening the health of your body. To counteract the effects of stress, be sure to eat healthy foods that include lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains. To avoid worsening the impact of stress on your body, try to exclude from your diet foods that can raise your blood pressure and cause blood sugar swings, such as processed and fried foods, refined sugars, caffeine and alcohol.

In conjunction with proper nutrition, a regular exercise routine is an impressively effective stress management tool. Exercise in its various forms has been shown to decrease stress levels by increasing endorphin production, which are your brain’s neurotransmitters that promote feelings of well-being. Also, exercise improves your quality of sleep, increases your sense of confidence and optimism, and raises your overall energy level.

If you are beginning to notice signs that your stress level is affecting your health, consult with a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan and then take enroll in a yoga, Pilates or low-impact exercise course to get started on a path to a healthy lifestyle. However, while proper nutrition and regular exercise can minimize the effects of stress, the factors that combine to create the chronic stress  you are experiencing should also be addressed. A licensed counselor, like Dr. Benjamin Wolf, MSW, LICSW, of Hope and Healing for Life in St. Paul, MN, can guide you in the process of dealing with these issues and create a set of coping skills that will help you achieve a healthy state of living. Schedule your initial consultation today by calling 612-643-1920 and find out how you can erase the hold stress has on your life.