I’m always stressed. Or so the physicians and gastroenterologists say when I come to them with stomach problems. No matter what is wrong — intense pain when eating, heartburn or the inability to eat more than a few bites — the culprit is always stress.
I used to think doctors were simply brushing me off when they said my pain was due to stress. However, I began doing more in-depth tests only to learn that there really was nothing out of the ordinary happening to my body. I had no ulcers, no gallstones, nothing. After these tests, I started thinking that maybe all of my symptoms were stress-related. I stopped worrying about what could be wrong with me and started focusing on reducing stress.
Something amazing happened. My stomach problems began to disappear. I could eat more — though I still had to watch how much I ate — and I stopped experiencing pain after eating. I didn’t have pain during or after. I was eating healthier and feeling better all around.
Reducing stress isn’t always easy. Of course, there are the well-known remedies, including regular exercise that can really make a difference. However, it is not always easy to find time to exercise, especially for college students and professionals.
I’m no expert, and these tips may not work for everyone, but I have compiled a list of stress remedies you can start doing right now.
Drink a cup (or five) of green tea
You’ve probably heard it before: green tea has many benefits. One of these benefits includes reducing physiological distress, which is brought on by anxiety in our lives. Experts recommend five cups a day, but that’s not always possible. Start off with one cup a day and see how your stress levels are affected. Also, watch your caffeine levels as most green teas contain high amounts of caffeine.
Inhale, hold your breath, exhale
This is a yoga breathing technique. Luckily, you don’t have to be practicing yoga to do this. Simply exhale air out, inhale in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and then exhale for 8 seconds. It is a simple breathing exercise that can be done anywhere.
You can use an actual lavender plant or essential oil, but get your hands on some quick. Simply inhaling the scent is enough, but for an added bonus you can also put a small amount of lavender oil on the bottom of your feet. It will seep into your pores and relax you even more. (This is also good to use before job interviews or presentations.)
Eat breakfast (especially eggs)
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast, especially when eggs are included, can greatly help your stress levels. After all, eggs are a high source of choline and protein. The higher your choline levels, the lower your stress and protein is a great way to feed your body health. So please, don’t neglect breakfast or any other meal.
Stop turning a problem into a catastrophe
Have you ever had a problem and suddenly start thinking of all the negatives that could result from the problem if you don’t solve it? If you answered yes, you’ve unnecessarily created more stress for yourself. Rather than focusing on of all the negatives, take a moment to breathe and think about the problem at hand and how you can solve it. When you stop thinking about only one side, you’ll be able to manage tension more effectively.