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How to Manage Stress During the Holiday Season

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Stress isn't just feelings of aggravation -- it can actually be bad for a person’s overall health.

Studies have shown living a high stress life can lead to heart problems, high blood pressure, personality changes and even obesity. When a person is stressed, the body produces high amounts of a steroid hormone called cortisol that, when chronically present or in excess, can have a whole host of negative effects on the body.

While stress is a constant in many people’s lives, a whole new level of stress is associated with the addition of the holiday season. From dealing with the crowds while shopping to dealing with family coming for visits and finding a way to balance the checkbook, the stress is piled on thick during this time of year. What's worse, the body can react with a stress response even if a stressful situation is pictured in our minds. That's right, an event doesn't even really need to be happening for you to feel stressed about it!

This holiday season, explore new ways to deal with the stress naturally to stay healthy and avoid losing it completely.

Adding Supplements

All-natural supplements can promote relaxation throughout the day, leading to better sleep at night. Two very good supplements which will help to lower stress and anxiety levels in the brain include passionflower and chamomile. The best way to enjoy both of these supplements would be through teas. Teabags, as well as liquid or powdered formulas, can be added to hot water for a relaxing and calming beverage. Capsules and tablets are also available if preferred. Another supplement that can help take the edge off is called GABA -- this is a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of calm and well-being.

For long-term stress, there are a class of herbal medicines called adaptogens that assist the body in adapting to the stress response. Some examples of adaptogens include rhodiola, Siberian ginseng and schisandra.

Get Away from it All

During the holidays, there seems to be a different task at every direction. There’s always something to wrap, something to plan or something to bake. The best thing to do is get away from the stress factors for a while to relieve the tension. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Go for a walk to forget about the to-do list for a moment and sneak in a little exercise at the same time.
  • Get a one-hour massage which can take care of aching muscles from built-up tension.
  • Meditate for 15 minutes a day to create a more peaceful and optimistic mindset.
  • Put away the cell phone, laptop and other technology for as long as possible each day to detach physically and mentally.
  • Dance or sing along to favorite holidays songs. Allowing oneself to be silly for a while can put things into better perspective.

Eat Stress-Reducing Foods

Certain types of foods can also play a role in reducing stress and supporting mental health. Some great ones to try include salmon, almonds and blueberries. Avoiding caffeine is another way to cut added stress during the holidays. While it does cause a temporary energy boost, too much caffeine or sugary syrup can be harmful to your body.

Stress can be more dangerous for overall health than many people realize. Make use of the natural methods above to enjoy this and every holiday season.

Happy holidays!


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