Day-to-day life can be quite stressful at times. Commitments and responsibilities can sometimes take over to the point where you feel like you have no time to yourself.
I find if I’m stressing about something, it’s too easy to get bogged down in feelings of worry. It’s like one big stress cycle that has no end.
Many of us have ways of letting off some steam, whether it’s seeing friends and family, exercising, sleeping or getting outdoors. But one often overlooked tool for handling stress is what we eat. Nutrition coach Jamie Wright recently shared his best nutrition tips for reducing and managing stress. Here’s his advice.
Plan and prep your meals
As someone who goes through life thinking about one meal to the next, I stand by this rule. Getting ready for work includes making breakfast, setting out my mid-morning snack, prepping my lunches and planning my afternoon snack. And I simply can’t get through the day if I don’t know what I'm having for tea.
Planning and laying out everything beforehand means there’s one less thing to think about. And you’ll have plenty of snacks to look forward to.
Eat nutritious food regularly
It's no secret that hunger can make people angry, or “hangry”. I might be more guilty of this than most. But there is a quick fix for this disastrous turn of mood, and you’ll like it. All you need to do is eat nutritious food regularly throughout the day to prevent dips in blood sugar. This will help to stop that frown from turning upside down.
Be sure to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods like spinach, avocado and peanut butter, or stock up on magnesium supplements. The benefits of magnesium are lesser known. If you don’t know them, you should get to know them. You’ll be on the magnesium bandwagon in no time.
How many times do we need to say it? Carbs are your friends. Carbs help regulate our moods and may have a role in the production of serotonin, the “happy hormone”. They can quite literally make you feel happier.
Complex carbs take longer to digest, so they could provide a steadier supply throughout the day. Swap out your pasta for whole grain and reap the benefits.
And last but certainly not least, omega-3 fatty acids. Along with their many other benefits, they are also thought to help prevent surges of “stress” hormones.
Take home message
There's no magic formula for reducing or stopping stress, but there are certainly small changes you can make to stop it from taking over your life. These tips coupled with plenty of sleep, exercise and an active social life should help you to reduce and manage stress.