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How to Manage Stress at 40 and Beyond

By Expert HERWriter
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Let’s continue to look at ways to manage stress so we can create the lives we want as we turn 40 and beyond.

In the last blog, I looked at the how taking the correct type of nutrients can replenish the body and help us feel more relaxed and able to rest. Today let's talk about a few other ways to help manage our stress.

Eating at regular intervals during the day can help our bodies manage stress. Whenever we skip a meal it causes our body to go into a stress response. Remember, our body uses food as fuel and when we don’t give our body food, it then goes into a stress response releasing stress hormones to release glucose stored from our muscles and the liver.

Many people may falsely believe that when you skip meals you start burning fat, but that is not true. Instead, skipping meals can cause our body to start breaking down muscle tissue for days before looking at fat. So you may not feel hungry or stressed by skipping meals but in reality, you are releasing stress hormones that impact your blood pressure, insulin levels, deplete nutrients from your body, increase nerve alertness, and even cause jumpiness or irritable moods. If you chronically skip meals, you are negatively impacting your health over time and it can predispose you to family diseases at an earlier age.

You not only have to consider eating regular meals, but also consider the types of food you eat. If you are eating highly processed food or "junk food", you can also send your body into a stress response. This tends to happen when you are feeling hungry and eat the first sugary thing you see. When your body is fed processed food, the breakdown of the food's glucose is extremely fast, speeding the glucose entry into your blood stream. Your body responds by releasing insulin to control your high blood glucose. This causes your blood sugar levels to go from really high to really low quickly. When your blood sugar is low your body releases stress hormones to release your storage of glucose and we are back to the same problem you had when you are skipping meals.

An easy solution for skipping meals is to eat at least 3-6 small meals and/or snacks per day.

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HERWriter Guide

Thanks, Dr. Dae, for some good advice and information. I've reduced the amount of sugar in my diet, and have found that having healthy food on hand for snacks during the day has been really helpful. Now I have a much better understanding of why this has reduced stress as well as the desire for full size meals at regular meal times. Take care, Pat

February 2, 2010 - 5:27pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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