In our previous post we took a closer look at the effect stress has on our digestive system. Now that we have a clearer understanding on the subject, we need to identify what stresses us out and how we can improve our quality of life and our health.
To quote Shiv Khera, a famous self-help author, “Your positive action, combined with positive thinking creates success.” This principle can work for you on the most fundamental level – your health, which is the real key to happiness.
If we eat right, think right and drink right, we will find that our overall wellbeing will improve significantly. However, in order to achieve that, we need to identify what stresses us out and remind ourselves that only positive choices, and not a slice of chocolate cake will help us feel better in the long run.
How to identify stress triggers:
- Listen to your body – the most significant symptoms of stress are literally right under your nose, rapid breathing, accelerated heart rate and digestive issues such as cramps, bloating and reflux are common signs of stress.
- Assess the situation – you can’t control traffic, you can’t control the weather and you can’t control other peoples’ reactions. By letting go of what you can’t control you are giving your mind a break from the impossible.
- The stress list – because stress has become imbedded into our daily routine, many of us are not even aware of our triggers. By keeping a list you are able to take a closer look at your day and realise that maybe skipping lunch at work isn’t giving you the timeout you need.
Even heroes need a little help now and then, and there are plenty of simple ways that can help you effectively manage stress without having to change your lifestyle around too much.
Eat right – while junk food is a convenience that defines modern living there are now more options than ever when it comes to a quick meal. Instead of a greasy burger, go for the veggie wrap, instead of those oily chips try some salad instead. After a few days you will really start to feel the difference in your body. The good news is that this small change doesn’t mean a ban on the occasional treat, we are human!
Think right – let’s face the truth, most successful people have a solid mindset. While we are not expecting you to brainwash yourself or bend spoons, simply taking steps to shut down negative thoughts will improve your mental wellbeing enough for you to start making healthier life decisions, like going to bed earlier and not having that second glass of wine.
Drink right – perhaps the simplest step is to drink up. Without proper hydration your body, and in particular your digestive system ceases to function properly resulting in constipation that can potentially lead to weight gain. Did you know that each person’s daily water intake is different and varies in accordance to sex, weight, seasons (as in hot weather vs cold weather), physical activity and age etc., so the averaged eight glasses of water is not entirely spot on. This handy hydration calculator will give you a good indication on how much water you should be having a day. The next step is to make sure the quality of your water is up to scratch. We all remember the various bottled water scams that have taken place over the years, so the simplest and most cost effective solution is to invest in a water filtration system of your choice (preferably not a jug) and take it from there. A few slices of lemon or a broad selec