How Stress Stops You from Becoming a Healthy Superhuman
In the quest to become superhuman and achieve optimal health, stress is probably one of the biggest villains you will ever face. It takes over your body, stops you from performing optimally mentally and physically, interferes with your quality of life, and stops you from feeling like your healthiest, superhuman self.
Being stressed or anxious often can cause a lot of damage to the body. Beyond the side effects of having too much stress that are listed below, mental health problems are on the rise.
Nowadays, more and more people are being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and are relying on medication, going to therapy (which is a wonderful idea for anybody struggling), self-medicating, and developing addictions to various things, such as alcohol, drugs, food, social media, porn, gambling, etc.
A lot of people seek ways to help them feel numb, perhaps because reality might be too overwhelming. Being numb all the time will not help you to become superhuman. It will not help you to perform like your optimal self when needed.
Having too much stress has a lot of negative potential effects other than getting in the way of you becoming superhuman as well. It:
Increases your risk of heart disease. There have been a lot of people who thought they were having heart attacks, but it turned out to be anxiety attacks instead. This alone should be enough proof that stress affects your heart. When cortisol (the main stress hormone) levels are elevated too much, it stresses your heart out over time.
Impairs the immune system. Chronic stress can cause you to become sick more often due to a weakened immune system. It also impairs recovery when you are ill or injured.
Disrupts the digestive system.
Can cause brain fog and a decline in mental performance.
Causes fat gain for a lot of people, especially around the midsection. This is due to an increase in cortisol levels, which then elevates your insulin levels. Many people also turn to food, alcohol, and other unhealthy behaviours like sitting on the couch for hours and hours to distract yourself, which can lead to fat gain over time.
Leads to premature brain ageing and contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Prevents you from ageing like a superhuman. What is interesting to note is that stress can speed up ageing by shortening the length of DNA strands. This is how it works is: each cell contains 46 chromosomes, and chromosomes are like DNA libraries, which have protective caps closer to the ends. These caps are called telomeres, and as they become shorter, they become weak. This leads to cells ageing and dying sooner.
Telomere shortening is the primary cause of age-related cell breakdown. It has also been associated with an increased risk of disease and a shorter lifespan. But luckily, through a healthy lifestyle, which consists of a proper diet, regular exercise routine, and low stress, this can reduce the rate of telomere shortening and help you age like a superhuman.
Luckily, you can reduce your stress levels and lower the negative effects on your health. Here is how:
Make Time to Relax if You Want to Become Superhuman
It is difficult to calm down in the modern-day, fast-paced world, but it is important to make relaxing a priority. Go for a walk, socialise, practice yoga, meditate, read books, drink herbal tea, colour in, paint something, get a pet, enjoy a warm bath, eat some chocolate, get a massage, or do whatever else relaxes you.
Superhumans Get Enough Sleep
You must also remember to get enough sleep, as sleep deprivation also increases cortisol levels and makes it more likely that you will indulge in unhealthy behaviours the next day. Sleep is also probably the most important aspect of healthy living.
A lack of sleep can negatively impact your work performance, increase cortisol, and even increase hunger levels significantly. Even if you do get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night, the quality of sleep is just as important.
Make Reducing Stress one of the Focuses of Your Superhuman Diet
Eat to Balance Your Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar levels drop, it spikes your cortisol levels, which can wake you up during the night. To balance your blood sugar levels, always pair carbohydrates with protein and fat, and stick to low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates, such as sweet potato, fruit, and vegetables. These digest slower thanks to the high fibre content, and keep your blood sugar levels stable for longer than processed carbohydrates do.
Eat Foods That Are High in Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps you brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps calm you down. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to sleep disruption and sleep disorders. Vitamin D, exercise, and carbohydrates help tryptophan get to your brain where it is converted into serotonin, so get some sunlight, move a bit, and eat carbs at dinner.
If you are trying to restrict your carbohydrates, but are struggling to get proper sleep, eat low-carb during the day and leave your carbs for at night. You can find tryptophan in foods, such as chicken, eggs, beef, almonds, fish, and yoghurt.
Minerals for Mental Health
Potassium, Magnesium, and B vitamins can all help our nervous systems relax. Having enough potassium in your system can also help to keep insulin levels low, which might counteract some of the insulin-elevating effects of excess cortisol due to stress.
Potassium-rich foods include almonds, bananas, avocado, sprouted beans, citrus, beetroot, coconut water, and sweet potatoes.
You can find B vitamins in chickpeas, sprouted beans, seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, and beef.
Most people are probably deficient in this magnesium. Foods rich in this mineral include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, sprouted beans, avocados, yoghurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. Epsom salt is also a good source.
Stress does not have to get in the way of you becoming your healthiest, superhuman version of yourself. There are many things that you can do to lower your stress and cortisol levels, as mentioned above, and further exploration, introspection, and self-experimentation will help you find the best stress-relieving lifestyle and diet for you.