Stress is an emotional and physical response to external factors, and lessening stress is the secret to a longer, healthier, life. We know that stress isn't good for us, and we know that everyone experiences stress every day, but once we're aware of how long-lasting stress impacts our physical body, we realise that it's important to find ways to manage and reduce stress to remain healthy. It doesn't matter how old we are, or whether we're male or female, we're all exposed to numerous daily stressors and if our reactions to those stressors aren't dealt with and managed, the outcome on our physical health is often detrimental.

When we're stressed, the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are created to help us with the 'fight or flight' reaction to any potentially dangerous situations. This hormone creation is useful in the short term as it increases our heart rate enabling us to quickly escape from any potentially dangerous situations. When we're under stress or feeling anxious, our hormones change to help us to manage the stressful or anxiety-causing situation, enabling us to use the natural 'flight or fight' response, but when the stress is constant and long-term it's likely to have a negative influence on our health. These effects range from straightforward recurring problems such as tiredness and depression, to far more severe issues such as heart failure and cancer. Therefore it's vital to find effective ways of dealing with stress.

When stress becomes habitual or long-term, our body naturally responds and continues to send stress hormones into our system. When the stress hormones remain elevated for extended periods we start to see the long-term effects.

The body's stress hormone, cortisol, causes blood sugar to rise, resulting in an acidic blood state. Acidic blood results in many of today's common conditions: diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, along with excess tummy fat. A low glycemic and high protein diet is beneficial to help us keep on top of the effects of stress.

Below are some useful ways to reduce stress:

• Wherever possible, remove yourself from the stressful situation and focus on your breathing for a few moments with the sole intention of calming your mind and body.
• If you're feeling stressed due to overwhelm, break your tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
• Look at your diet and eliminate sugar and caffeine:
• Eat oily fish – it contains a high quantity of B vitamins which is great to help you deal with stress. Salmon and tuna are excellent choices, and you should try to consume at least two portions per week.
• Drink plenty of water – it's very important to stay hydrated. Your cells need water to operate properly.
• Drink milk – a bowl of wholegrain cereal with reduced-fat milk every morning is a great way to keep one step ahead of stress as your day begins.
• Eat nuts – nuts are a great source of Vitamin B2 and E, together with magnesium and zinc. Nuts contain (generally) unsaturated fats.
• Eat oranges and kiwi fruits - these are high in vitamin C, which helps to control the release of free-radicals into your system.
• Exercise – this doesn't have to involve a gym membership. A good regular walk or swim will go a long way to reducing stress, especially if you can increase your heart rate as you exercise.
• Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a series of gentle, slow-moving, flowing body movements that help to reduce stress. Its origins are in fighting styles, but now it's used for soothing the thoughts, conditioning the body system and reducing stress.
• Yoga – well-known for its ability to calm the mind, and stretch and relax the body.
• Meditate or use self-hypnosis – this can either be done by yourself at home, or with the guidance of a professional. Only a few moments are needed to immediately feel the weight of the world being lifted from your shoulders.

Handling stress means being in control of your thoughts and feelings, schedule, surroundings, money etc, and the methods you use to deal with these things. It's impossible to avoid all daily stress triggers, but it's vital to deal with the stressors and make sure you take some time to relax each day. To overcome both short and long-term stress and the impact it has on our body, it's important to really have the intention to calm ourselves down and, wherever possible, remove ourselves from the stressful situation we're in.

Unfortunately, stress can too easily become habitual and subsequently impact our health. If we can reduce stress by changing our instant reaction to stressful situations, then our our physical and mental health will both improve significantly.

Author's Bio: 

If you'd like to try self-hypnosis to reduce stress, then I have an mp3 download available for you. It just takes 30 minutes or so to relax and listen to (preferably through headphones, if possible), and afterwards you'll feel relaxed, rested and in control. The download can be found at:

If you'd like any further information or help, please contact me at:, or call me on +44 1379 770022.