Researchers suggest that as much as 60-90% of illnesses are directly caused by or exacerbated by stress. Stress is related to major illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, but can also cause back pain, headaches, tooth grinding, upset stomach and digestive problems, sleep loss and exhaustion, skin problems, unhealthy weight gain or loss. And that’s just the bodily symptoms: stress is linked to depression, anxiety, mood swings, confusion, restlessness, irritability, insecurity, forgetfulness, and a host of other negative mental and behavioral symptoms.
1. Stop procrastinating – You can put off important tasks, but you can’t put off worrying about them — and the stress that causes.
2. Eat better – A good diet can help your body better deal with the effects of stress. A healthy diet isn’t all that complicated; as Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, puts it, Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. As a general rule, eat as much as you can from the "edges" of your supermarket — produce, bakery, butcher counter, dairy case — and save the stuff in the "middle" for once-in-a-while — Twinkies, Pop Tarts, potato chips, canned foods, instant meals, etc.
3. Make family time – Try to eat at least one meal a day with your family (or with friends if you’re single). Better yet, eat at least one home cooked meal a day with your family/friends.
4. Talk it out – Bottling up your frustrations, even the little ones, leads to stress. Learn to express dissatisfaction (in a constructive, non-hurtful way) and to voice your worries and fears to someone close to you.
5. Love – Build relationships. Share yourself. Feel human warmth
Let’s kill stress!