Which of these statements is true?
- Stress is good for our health.
- Stress is bad for our health.
The answer is both, says Charles Hu, a Nutrilite™ nutrition investigator.
“We think of stress as being a bad thing, but stress is actually a natural part of life,” Hu said. “It’s how our bodies react to any type of change in our lives – positive or negative.”
Positive stress v. negative stress
A little bit of stress can make you work harder and enhance your performance. And positive stress, like a promotion at work or vigorous exercise, produces feel-good, healthy stress.
But too much stress can be overwhelming. And negative stress, like a family disagreement or a missed deadline, can result in physical symptoms like a headache or upset stomach.
An excess of negative stress can lead to serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to manage stress in our everyday lives. This list of stress management do’s and don’ts is a great way to start.
DO eat plenty of stress fighting foods
Fill your diet with whole grain foods, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, turkey breast, oatmeal, yogurt and blueberries.
A well-balanced diet keeps your system functioning smoothly and provides the energy you need to get through the day. Also, things are much easier to face if you’re not hungry.
DO get daily exercise
Experts recommend s 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise each week. If that seems daunting, don’t worry. Just do what you can. Even a little bit of exercise is better than skipping it entirely.
DO get plenty of sleep
Studies show a lack of sleep makes it difficult to think clearly, impairs your judgment and contributes to symptoms of depression. Make sure you’re taking steps to get a good night’s sleep so you’re well rested and ready to face the day. Click here for some sleeping tips.
DON’T use tobacco, caffeine or alcohol
While many turn to those substances to ease stress, they are short-term remedies at best. At worst, long-term use can contribute to more stress in your life.
DON’T forget the activities you love
Whether it’s reading, listening to music, mini spa treatments or a game night with the family, making time for self care is important to your overall well-being, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. Click here for some suggestions for carving out time for the things you enjoy.
DON’T isolate yourself
Withdrawing into yourself and binging on TV or the internet may seem like an escape, but it can make you feel even more stressed. Resist the urge and instead seek out friends or family. Spending time with people you love is comforting. And if you can talk with them about the stress you are facing, even better.
Stress and mental health
Stress can have an effect on your mental health, too, which is another key part of your overall well being. Click here for suggestions for improving your mental health.