Nowadays, it’s easy to feel like you’re running on empty. There’s work, family, and maybe even a social life. But, for the sake of self-care, we need to talk about chronic stress. It’s the reason why you feel drained and cranky!
Generally, some stress isn’t a bad thing. It jump-starts motivation and the drive to get things done. As the “stress hormone” cortisol increases, neurotransmitters that control memory fire up.1 The “flight or fight” response encourages your reaction to danger. Even your cells are on guard, helping your immune system prepare for battle.2
But, like most things in life, stress isn’t great in excess. Chronic stress takes years off of your life. It lowers klotho, a hormone that mediates the aging process.3 High levels of cortisol disrupt metabolism, blood glucose control, and immunity. The risk for health problems also skyrocket.4
Obviously, it is impossible to banish all stress from life. You can, however, control how much it builds up. This is crucial for good health and preventing burnout.
1. Try Coenzyme Q10 Supplements With Your Diet
Caffeine isn’t the only cure for exhaustion. The antioxidant coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, will help your cells produce energy.
Specifically, mitochondria need CoQ10 for essential reactions. It acts as an electron carrier, helping mitochondria turn energy from food into something cells can use.5 There are thousands of mitochondria in a single cell!6
CoQ10 also prevents cell death and inflammation. To give your cells a boost, add CoQ10 to your supplement lineup. Find it at the grocery or health food store.
2. Make Exercise A Part Of Your Routine
From energy to mood, exercise improves every aspect of chronic stress. Every cell gets a delivery of oxygen to keep it trucking along. Moreover, exercise enhances the central nervous system to keep you on your A-game.
Too tired to move? Don’t dive into a long-distance marathon. Take a short walk or do a set of jumping jacks. It’ll slowly boost your energy intake, helping you work out more and more.
Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, five times a week.7 Start small with once or twice a week, then move up from there.
3. Follow An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
It’s no surprise that stress fires up inflammation.8 What’s worse is that inflammation is a major process behind aging, infection, and degenerative diseases.9 Your body will feel like its deteriorating.
To feel your best, avoid pro-inflammatory foods like high-fructose corn syrup, refined grains, red meat, and fried foods.10 These things just fuel inflammation! For instance, a 2017 animal study found that trans fats worsen inflammation,
Sodium also brings on inflammation, so hold the salt. Trade processed convenience meals for fresh, whole foods. Instead of salt, use herbs and spices to flavor foods.12
Chow down on anti-inflammatory foods instead. Think fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and green tea. It will only help your body and mind.
|↑1||Short Stressful Events May Improve Working Memory. University at Buffalo.|
|↑2||Study explains how stress can boost immune system. Stanford Medicine News Center.|
|↑3||Prather, A. A., E. S. Epel, J. Arenander, L. Broestl, B. I. Garay, D. Wang, and D. B. Dubal. “Longevity factor klotho and chronic psychological stress.” Translational psychiatry 5, no. 6 (2015):
|↑4||Adinoff, Bryon, Ali Iranmanesh, Johannes Veldhuis, and Lisa Fisher. “Disturbances of the stress response: The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during alcohol withdrawal and abstinence.” Alcohol Research and Health 22, no. 1 (1998): 67.|
|↑5||Quinzii, Catarina M., and Michio Hirano. “Coenzyme Q and mitochondrial disease.” Developmental disabilities research reviews 16, no. 2 (2010): 183-188.|
|↑7||How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑8||Powell, Nicole D., Erica K. Sloan, Michael T. Bailey, Jesusa MG Arevalo, Gregory E. Miller, Edith Chen, Michael S. Kobor, Brenda F. Reader, John F. Sheridan, and Steven W. Cole. “Social stress up-regulates inflammatory gene expression in the leukocyte transcriptome via β-adrenergic induction of myelopoiesis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, no. 41 (2013): 16574-16579.|
|↑9||López-Armada, María J., Romina R. Riveiro-Naveira, Carlos Vaamonde-García, and Marta N. Valcárcel-Ares. “Mitochondrial dysfunction and the inflammatory response.” Mitochondrion 13, no. 2 (2013): 106-118.|
|↑10||Pro-Inflammatory Dietary Factors in Prostate Cancer Susceptibility and Survival. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑11||Longhi, Rafael, Roberto Farina Almeida, Leticia Ferreira Pettenuzzo, Débora Guerini Souza, Letiane Machado, André Quincozes-Santos, and Diogo Onofre Souza. “Effect of a trans fatty acid-enriched diet on mitochondrial, inflammatory, and oxidative stress parameters in the cortex and hippocampus of Wistar rats.” European Journal of Nutrition (2017): 1-12.|
|↑12||Fogarty, Andrew W., Sarah A. Lewis, Tricia M. McKeever, and John R. Britton. “Is higher sodium intake associated with elevated systemic inflammation? A population-based study.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 89, no. 6 (2009): 1901-1904.|