According to a recent survey conducted by Aetna, 23% percent of Americans report that they lash out at others because they are stressed. Sadly, prolonged exposure to stress can have a negative effect and may lead to sleep loss, depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug abuse. It can also contribute to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Although you may not be able to control the many responsibilities that you have at work you can make better food choices which can help you feel better and have a productive life.
Skip the Sodium
Our bodies crave chips and other salty foods when we are under pressure, but they lead to water retention which may cause hypertension. Though stress alone may not be the cause of prolonged high blood pressure, a low fat and sodium diet is always best. Exercise, meditation can curtail stress and hypertension. Also switching from chips to crunchy carrots can avoid the sodium bloat.
Cut back on caffeine
As with most things in life moderation is the key to balance. Coffee and tea are both rich in antioxidants which is beneficial for overall health. Still caffeine is a stimulant and too much can cause you to feel jittery and experience anxiety and loss of concentration. This can then cause low productivity plus heightened stress. Make sure that you are getting enough rest so that you can limit and/or reduce your caffeine intake. Replace your 20 ounce cup to 12 ounces and alternate decaffeinated or herbal teas for the punchier stuff.
Keep it light
Having a glass of wine at night may not affect you but two or three can really throw your sleep pattern out of whack. While alcohol may have a sedative effect, drinking in excess can increase the release of the body’s stress hormone Cortisol. Our body produces this hormone as a way of protecting us. It controls our fight or flight reaction. Overexposure to this hormone can lead to issues such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, weight gain and loss of concentration.