Mitigating the Tolls of Stress on Your Body: Part II

In the last installment, we talked about a recent Fox News Health article that covered a study that showed aging and decline in cell health can be accelerated by stress but that these detrimental effects can be slowed and managed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle even during stressful times in life.

While it’s all well and good to try and maintain a disciplined and healthy lifestyle during stressful periods, we all know that it’s very easy to use bad days as excuses to slip into bad habits.  Bad breakups or losing a job can often lead to unhealthy eating, excessive drinking, lack of sleep and other habits that not only make you feel worse in the long run but could actually be doing damage to your cell health.

So how can we avoid those pitfalls and maintain our discipline even in hard times?  Here are a few techniques that might just help keep a measure of consistency during the good days and the bad.

Get Spiritual

Spirituality means different things for different people.  It can be as structured as daily prayer and attending regular religious services or as free form as meditation.  If you have some form of spiritual expression that helps keep you calm during stressful times, make sure you keep up with it on a consistent basis.  If yoga class helps you achieve some serenity, don’t skip it because you had a hard day.  If anything, those are the times that sticking to your schedule can be the most helpful.

Have Someone to Talk To

Stress can be made worse by bottling it up.  Make sure that when you’re stressed out you have a good support system.  Talking about your worries and your fears with someone you trust will help you share some of the weight of your worries. Sometimes just getting your concerns off your chest will make you feel worlds better.

Don’t Get Lazy with Your Diet

If you have a healthy diet that works for you, try not to use stress or life speedbumps as an excuse to cheat. Eating junk food might give you some temporary comfort, but you’ll almost always regret it and end up feeling worse in the long run.

Exercise Regularly

Dealing with stressful situations sometimes leads to shirking your workout regimen.  Make sure you make time to keep your body active.  It’s been proven time and time again that consistent exercise and being outdoors can help lower stress levels. If you’re stressed about a big project at work, take a break and go for a run, even if it’s only twenty minutes.  Your body and mind will both thank you and you will probably end up being more productive overall than if you had continued staring at your computer screen.

Following these simple rules will help mitigate the tolls of stress on your body.

Feel free to share any techniques for staying disciplined in times of stress in the comments!