14 Tips and Tricks to Help Keep Stress at Bay!

9608 Magnesium article image
9608 Magnesium article image

Stress is an all too common occurrence in our modern-day lives. Chronic pain, environmental circumstances, relationship difficulties, work deadlines and money woes amongst other dramas all cause our bodies to respond with the same, age old biological response – stress.

While the stress response can be a positive in the short term, helping us to get through difficult circumstances, enhancing our learning in new situations, long term over stimulation of this stress response results in unregulated and chronically elevated levels of ‘stress hormones’. This impacts negatively on all body systems and reduces the body’s stores of essential nutrients, and one of these is magnesium.

Magnesium is rapidly depleted when the body is under stress and is further depleted by the things we use as a crutch to see us through stressful times: coffee, alcohol and sugary, energy-hit foods. As magnesium is used for over 300 functions in the body, a magnesium deficiency results in a wide range of symptoms including muscle aches and pains, twitches, cramps and tension, headaches, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and eventually more serious gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues. Magnesium deficiency also causes the nervous system symptoms we associate with stress: restlessness, insomnia, depression and poor concentration.

Radiance® Magnesium Complex Plus provides 280mg of magnesium bound to amino acids for greatest absorption, in a safe 2:1 ratio with calcium, alongside a full complement of other nutrients to optimise magnesium stores.

Taurine is added for its benefits in reducing magnesium excretion, enabling the transport of magnesium into the cells, supporting muscle and cardiovascular function and promoting healthy mood and sleep. Vitamin B6 is included for its role in magnesium metabolism, healthy mood and hormone balance. Vitamin C and D are in there for their role in magnesium metabolism and nervous system function. Zinc and Selenium are also incorporated as they are both deficient in NZ soils and provide benefits for nervous system and musculoskeletal health.

Whilst taking a nutritional supplement can support you during times of greater need, the lifestyle choices you make have the greatest impact on your health and wellbeing. So what else can you do to provide support to your body when stress levels are up? We here at Radiance® have put together fourteen diet and lifestyle tips and tricks to help you to support your body when stress is an everyday struggle.

1. Ditch the processed convenience foods – When you are stressed and rushed it can be all too easy to reach for the takeaways, packaged junk foods and sweets to get you through the day, but they often leach nutrients from the body, reducing nutrient stores and assimilation. Chronic intake of sugary treats also causes major fluctuations in blood glucose; which stimulates the stress response too! Take the time to prepare nutritious foods containing whole grains, legumes, free range eggs and organic meats, green foods, fruits and veggies, your body will thank you.

2. Keep alcohol and coffee intake to a minimum – If you have had a poor night’s sleep and are feeling tired and fatigued or you have that one last report to write before you go home; it is all too easy to reach for the coffee. Coffee is fine in moderation but if you are in the grip of stress, coffee amplifies the negative impact of stress by increasing magnesium excretion, driving adrenalin secretion and disrupting sleep quality. Alcohol is also often used as a crutch during a stressful phase but this too increases magnesium excretion and can easily become an unhealthy habit. Try some better alternatives like green tea in the morning and some chamomile tea at night to wind down.

3. Do have the occasional treat – Life is not meant to be mundane and rigid. Now and again try a little tenderness!! Good quality 100% raw cacao chocolate with low sugar content can be a lovely treat, packed full of magnesium, just not too close to bedtime. Also try making “I can’t believe it’s not chocolate!” Mousse. Take an avocado and blend with some water a little lemon, your preferred sweetener (stevia/xylitol/agave/honey) and a little good quality cocoa. Voila…Healthy chocolate mousse. Full of essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants, not to mention pleasure!

4. Learn something new – Life can get a bit dull at times and this can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Think about those long held dreams, and act on them. Learn a language, start that cross stitch, don’t just stare longingly at those people kite surfing on a windy day- try it!

5. Get some goals –
Try and have something to look forward to, sort goals into short term, like bingo every week or a beach trip or a picnic in the weekend or long term like an overseas holiday in six months’ time. Goal setting can go a long way towards reducing the strain of day to day life.

6. Dance, Dance, Dance –
As a wise man once said ‘you can’t dance without having joy’. Dancing is a great way to stay fit and meet new people and gives you something to do that is just for you, or provides you with a positive outlet for you and a partner. There are plenty of dance schools and groups out there which offer all sorts of classes from salsa to burlesque!

7. Get back to nature – Nature has a nice way of helping us to forget our woes and de-stress , so whether it walking on the beach, taking a stroll through the bush, swimming in the ocean or just sitting in the park, use the power of nature for your own good.

8. Practise self-care –
Spend some time everyday doing something that you love. Have a bath, read a novel, go swimming, have an early night, go for a walk, paint your finger nails, do a face mask, sing along to your favourite song in your car on the way to work. Don’t go a full day without making your soul sing just a little.

9. Talk to someone – Part of nurturing the nervous system is being able to talk to somebody about your fears, anxiety and stress. There are many counsellors and other therapists out there who can help you to work through your anxiety and stress to achieve peace.

10. Make a stress book – Being aware of stress in your life is the first step towards conquering it. Keep a diary for two weeks, carry it with you and jot down any incidents that make you feel unhappy, stressed or anxious. Note what happened, what you thought, how you felt emotionally and how you felt physically. In the same notepad in a different area, jot down the things that you notice that make you feel happy or inspired. At the end of the two weeks read over your entries. Not only will this help you to identify the areas of your life which contribute the most stress and need attention and change, it will also remind you of the many things that are positive and happy in your world.

11. Exercise – Not only will moderate exercise reduce stress hormone levels, it also releases feel good endorphins, aids in sleep patterns, helps to maintain bone and muscle density, cardiovascular health and just generally makes you feel better! It is also a great way to boost self-confidence and creates a healthy distraction when you are stressed or down.

12. Laugh and socialize – Get out and about with friends and family, have a laugh, see a movie, go to a show, take up invitations, enjoy company and try to relax.

13. Practise good sleep habits – If your sleep leaves a little to be desired, implement the sleep golden rules- ensure your room is dark, ditch the stimulants, don’t watch TV in bed and get to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

14. And last but by all means not least – don’t forget to take Radiance® Magnesium Complex Plus!