Do you have a nagging headache you just can’t shake? Are you having trouble sleeping at night, or an upset stomach? You may think these are symptoms of the common cold or flu, but stress could be the true culprit.
Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease. This April is Stress Awareness Month, and as chronic stress affects a growing number of Americans, I want to shed light on the impact of stress on the body and how you can reduce the effects.
Did you know:
1. According to The American Institute of Stress, 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago.
2. One in five Americans feels “extreme” stress that includes shaking, heart palpitations and depression.
3. Three out of four doctors’ visits are for stress-related ailments.
4. Stress also increases your risk of heart disease by 40% and stroke by 50%.
5. And 40% of people who are stressed overeat or eat unhealthy foods.
I hope reading these statistics didn’t stress you out, but we should be aware of the detrimental effects of stress to our health. Stress is an unavoidable consequence of life; the good news is that we can control how we respond to it which can mitigate its negative impact on our health.
How to control your response to stress:
1. Get the proper amount of rest so your mind and body can recharge.
2. Exercise can help improve your mind and mood. The best exercise is the kind that you will enjoy and stick to doing on a regular basis.
3. Get out into nature; numerous studies have shown the emotional and physiological benefits of direct physical access to nature.
4. Consume a proper diet that includes nutrient-dense superfoods such as leafy greens, colorful fruits and veggies, flax, nuts and seeds.
5. Finally, there are a number of natural supplements and herbs that may help you manage stress.
I encourage you stop into your local Heinen’s and visit our Wellness Consultants who can guide you on your journey to better health through stress management.