According to the BBC, in 2012, stress was the main reason for the absence of employees from their workplaces in the UK. This affected not only the work of individual enterprises, but also the well-being of the whole country. After all, sick days cost her £ 14 billion annually. Therefore, the question of fostering a healthy and happy society stands squarely here.
Moreover, the statistics also showed that about 90% of the US population is constantly exposed to severe stress. Moreover, a third of them experience stressful conditions daily, and the rest – 1-2 times a week. In addition, 75-90% of all patients who seek help from doctors have symptoms of such diseases that were caused precisely by stress.
As for Russia, there are no exact statistics on the impact of stress yet. However, according to rough estimates, at least 70% of Russians are exposed to it. However, not all of them are aware of the consequences that it has on their state of mind, health, and family relationships.
Although … As paradoxical as it may sound, there are positive aspects to stress. After all, it is he who motivates a person to set and achieve new goals and conquer new heights.
Physiology of stress
When a person experiences stress, adrenocorticotropic hormone is produced in his body. It provides the flow of additional energy, thus preparing a person for trials. Scientists call this process the “fight-or-flight mechanism.” In other words, after receiving a signal about an impending problem, a person is given the strength to solve it by “accepting the battle”, or to avoid it by literally running away.
However, the problem is that such a way out of a difficult situation was acceptable 200 years ago. Today, it is difficult to imagine an employee who, after a beating from his superiors, immediately inflicts his signature blow somewhere or disappears altogether. Indeed, modern society has its own laws and customs. And they should not be neglected.
Nevertheless, just like 200 years ago, the body continues to produce adrenocorticotropic hormone. But, remaining unclaimed, he unwittingly brings him harm. First of all, the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system are affected. Ulcers, heart problems and hypertension appear. Further more. But here it all depends on the state of human health.
Nutrition and stress
One of the basic ways to relieve stress is to rethink your own diet. Moreover, during this period, it is important not only to ensure the supply of all the necessary substances, as, indeed, for any ailment. The main thing is to introduce into your diet those foods that can help the body survive difficult situations, restore lightness and good spirits, and also make up for the loss of serotonin. It is its lack that often leads to stress.
Top 10 foods to help fight stress
Nuts. Cashews, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, or peanuts work well. They contain magnesium and folic acid. They not only protect the nervous system from stress, but also help the body to overcome it. And almonds themselves also have pronounced antioxidant properties. It contains vitamins B2, E and zinc. They are involved in the production of serotonin and help neutralize the effects of stress.
Green tea. It contains a special amino acid – theanine. It removes feelings of anxiety and improves sleep. Therefore, lovers of this drink, firstly, are less stressed. And, secondly, they quickly restore their state of mind.
Whole grains, white bread, oatmeal, and other complex carbohydrates. They promote the production of serotonin. And they are digested more slowly. Therefore, the body receives good reserves of this substance and successfully fights stress. And in parallel, it also normalizes blood sugar levels.
Blueberries and citrus fruits. They contain vitamin C and the antioxidant anthocyanin to help fight stress. And also fiber. After all, often a stressful state is accompanied by constipation and colic, and she is able to relieve them.
Dark chocolate. It contains flavonoids that allow the brain to relax. Studies have shown that people who regularly consume this product have lower levels of cortisol in their bodies. This hormone is also produced during stress and has a negative effect on the entire body.
Avocado. They are rich in vitamin B, which has a positive effect on the functioning of the nervous system, helping a person to relax and calm down.
Sunflower seeds. Firstly, they help to reduce pressure, which inevitably increases with stress, and, secondly, to get rid of it faster.
Turkey. It contains tryptophan, which promotes the production of serotonin.
How else to escape stress
At first, it is worth going in for sports. Anything you love will do: running, walking, swimming, rowing, team games, yoga, fitness or dancing. It’s important to move, but it doesn’t matter how. The optimal training time is half an hour. It will allow you to relieve stress, improve heart function, lose weight and improve mood by simply triggering the body’s response to the “fight-or-flight mechanism.”
Secondly, laugh heartily. According to the research results, in addition to helping with the fight against stress, laughter also soothes pain, increases immunity, relieves nervous tension, improves the functioning of internal organs, and provokes the release of endorphins, which have a positive effect on the brain.
- Black tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks, as they contain caffeine. It excites the nervous system and deprives you of sleep.
- Sweets – the effect of sugar on the body is similar to the effect of caffeine;
- Alcohol and cigarettes – these cause mood swings and exacerbate the situation;
- Fatty foods – it impairs digestion and sleep, which are already disturbed by stress.
Fourthly, listen to music, play with animals, go for a massage, read an interesting book, be in nature, take a bath, take a walk, sleep … or sleep.
Someone said that life is stressful if you are not loved. Therefore, love and be loved! And don’t be influenced by bad news and envious people for anything!
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