Dealing with stress is important; dealing with it the right way is essential, too. Relieving stress the right way involves practicing slow exhalations, exercising regularly, spending time in nature like a morning walk, sleeping at least eight hours at night, spending time with family and friends, accepting imperfections, eating mindfully and drinking plenty of water, practicing mindfulness, and exercising forgiveness.

Normally, stress is the body’s response to a dangerous situation. That’s when we have a fight-or-flight response. All our defense systems are on high alert, ready to fight or put all the energy together to run away from the perceived danger. This is usually a healthy reaction and is meant to help us survive in emergency situations.

The problem is that people with stressful lives are living semi-permanently in this kind of hyper-alert state. That is the moment when a disease starts, as it is too demanding on the body to be in a state of constant alert.

A certain amount of stress is unavoidable and is part of today’s life, so it is important to learn how to deal with it. Being stressed while eating on the go leads to poor digestion and absorption of the nutrients our bodies need. It is often a vicious circle and can lead to more serious illnesses which may be caused or aggravated by constant stress.

The importance of finding stress relief is to adopt a holistic approach including nutritional and lifestyle support.

Start incorporating one of the below suggestions every day and form healthy habits for better stress management.

10 Ways To Relieve Stress The Right Way

1. Breathe

Take 6 deep breaths every hour or when stress prevails. Slow exhalations help relax the body.

2. Move Your Body

15–30 minutes of exercise a day helps to increase your serotonin levels to relax.

3. Spend Time In Nature

A 15-minute morning walk increases cortisol, helping your adrenals to be more balanced and improving your mood.

4. Get Regular, Replenishing Sleep

Your body needs 8 hours to rest and repair.

5. Spend Time With Supportive Friends/Family

Social connections help balance stress levels.

6. Accept Imperfection

Better done than perfect. Practice to let go.

7. Eat Real/Functional Foods And Drink Lots Of Water

Eat whole, organic foods with plenty of veggies and avoid sugar, caffeine, dairy, gluten, processed, and refined foods. Check for food intolerances/allergies. Drink 8–10 glasses of water.

8. Practice Mindfulness

Meditate or take regular time for self-awareness. Practice gratitude daily.

9. Exercise Forgiveness

Start with yourself and let go of other resentments in various areas of your life.

10. Eat Mindfully

Start by buying local, organic food, enjoy cooking, sit down to a nice table and plate, and be present while eating (remove distractions like phone, TV, and computer). Enjoy each bite, feel, smell, taste and chew your food. Take time and be present.