It is inevitable to feel stressed out from time to time; those of us who do not know how to deal with it, often end up in a loss. Stress is like slow poison not only for your mind but also your body and your relationships. Whether it is due to work, your marriage, or health, prolonged stress can have a massive life-altering impact.
When you remain stressed too often, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This shoots up your cortisol levels. Living this way for too long can take a toll on the best of us. From inflammation to weight gain to hair loss, it can create havoc in your life and rid you of joy. Individuals who know how to deal with stress and use it as a driving force to attain goals are the real winners of life. Not only do they take full charge of the situation, but they also have the capability of not letting it ruin things.
Unhealthy Ways to Deal with Stress and How to Avoid Them?
There are numerous ways to manage stress in life, however, in this article we will discuss seven tips that you must avoid doing not just during times of high stress, but also in general to maintain good health. People often accredit their situation and environment for elevated stress levels. However, certain foods and behaviors can add to it, as well. If you want to learn more, then continue reading.
Benefits of Reducing Salt Intake
Sodium is present in salt as well as processed meats, both of which are not recommended to eat during stress. Manufacturers add additives, such as sodium and preservatives, to beef jerky, sausages and deli meats to ensure they have a long shelf-life. These additives amplify stress and lower energy levels. Instead, choose freshly cooked fish, chicken, or turkey.
They say the difference between tasty and untasty food is just a pinch of salt. However, eating too many salty tasting foods can lead to excess sodium within the body, which can cause fluid retention, hypertension and high blood pressure. Add less salt in home-cooked meals and look for low sodium snacks instead.
Caffeine and Stress Response
Starting your day with a cup of caffeine rush feels incredible. Then why is it on our list? We are sure you are familiar with feeling jittery and anxious after having a cup of coffee. This happens because caffeine can overstimulate the nervous system, elevate heart rate, blood pressure and lead to trouble sleeping, which can add to anxiety. Stress is already to blame for all those side effects, caffeine amplifies it further, especially if you have one too many cups of coffee throughout the day. It is important to note, caffeine is commonly found in various other beverages as well, such as energy drinks, soft drinks and certain kinds of tea.
Alcohol and Stress Hormones
Some individuals find relaxation at the bottom of a glass of wine. Using alcohol to cope can help occasionally. However, drinking every time you feel stressed is going to do you more damage than good. As drinking frequently can elevate the production of hormones and raise high blood pressure, which can make one feel even more anxious and stressed than they already are.
Individuals often think they will sleep off the adverse effects of alcohol. However, drinking is known to cause disturbances in sleep patterns. This vicious cycle means though you might fall asleep fast, you will not be able to get quality sleep and will, therefore, feel irritated and annoyed the next morning.
Stress and Sugar Cravings
Who doesn’t enjoy scoffing their face with a delicious slice of cake, pie, or even a tub of ice cream? We have all been there. Especially when something is bothering us, our hand keeps reaching for sweet treats, which satiates the mind and amplifies cravings. This comforting feeling is so familiar that most of us tend to repeat it every time we feel stressed out.
However, sugar is by far the worst ingredient and should be cut out of your diet at the earliest. When you are stressed, your body naturally produces cortisol, a hormone that manages blood sugar levels and stress. Hence, when you eat sugary treats on top of it, your blood sugar levels skyrocket and the body takes it as a signal to produce even more cortisol.
All this excess cortisol can escalate headaches, unhealthy food cravings, hamper the immune response and even lead to sleep disturbances. Moreover, when the blood sugar levels fluctuate drastically, they can aggravate feelings of anxiety and fear, thereby adding to existing stress levels.
Therefore, during stressful times it is best to avoid devouring sweets. Instead, switch gears and eat a more balanced diet to ensure stable blood sugar levels. This not only promotes gut health but also helps reduce stress, depression and mood swings.
How Does Stress Affect Eating Habits?
Stress binge eating copious amounts of food is one of the most common ways of dealing with tension. Additionally, our brain tends to look for unhealthy foods during these times. Hence chocolates, crisps and fast foods become a go-to. However, this eating pattern will only add to unwanted pounds, which can potentially lead to a pot belly and visceral fat. Visceral fat can put immense pressure on the male organ, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Additionally, high-stress levels can also lead to the slowing down of the metabolism rate, which leads to inevitable weight gain and inflammation. If you have a tendency to overeat under undue stress, we recommend you counter it by snacking on healthier foods such as almonds, walnuts, fruits and vegetables. You can also add more omega-3 fish to your diet as it is ideal for reducing tension, stress and inflammation.
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