Work and family, a hectic everyday life and our fast-moving world make stress almost unavoidable. We are all stressed, but those who learn to handle stress the right way do not need to worry about the impact on their health. Combine exercise, relaxation and a balanced and varied diet in your anti-stress programme. This will calm you and keep you fit. We’ll show you how it works.
Stress has its benefits – but not over the long term
Who would have thought it? Stress is vital for survival. Originally, it was the body’s warning signal in reaction to danger or sensory overload. For example, if we are exposed to noise, a threat or social tension, our body releases stress hormones, especially adrenaline. This increases blood pressure and muscle tension. Energy is released so that the body is ready to run away or fight. This is often referred to as the “fight or flight syndrome”.
If we become physically active in a stress situation – which is the case in nature – our bodies then reduce the amount of stress hormones. If we remain inactive, the concentration of stress hormones in the blood remains at a heightened level. In the event of long-term stress, the hormone cortisol is released, which can really play havoc with our nerves and knock the body out of balance.
You will never be able to completely avoid stress. However, you can stay calm: sufficient movement, a varied and balanced diet with less high-energy food, and regular relaxation will all help.
Vitamins and minerals and their “anti-stress” effect
Good mood – homemade
Our bodies produce a “good mood hormone”: serotonin. The higher the serotonin levels in the brain, the more balanced and relaxed we feel. The amino acid tryptophan, found in protein-rich foods such as cheese, poultry, lean meat, fish and pulses, forms the building blocks for the "good mood hormone".
Carbohydrates such as sugar in chocolate and cocoa ensure that tryptophan finds its way to the brain. So feel free to enjoy a piece of chocolate or cup of delicious cocoa from time to time – this can help to lift your mood. In general, you should opt for carbohydrates from whole-wheat bread and pasta, brown rice and cereals, but also vegetables, pulses and fruit. These are released gradually into the bloodstream, so their effect is gradual but lasts for longer.
Additional tips for getting your balance right
Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future