Women's Health: How to Outsmart Stress Traps

Try these healthy anxiety busters.

ByABC News
April 7, 2011, 8:42 AM

April 8, 2011— -- Tempted to… Dig into a bag of chips?

Try this instead… Grab a handful of almonds.

The omega-3s in nuts may help keep stress hormones such as cortisol in check, says Bernadette Latson, R.D., a nutritionist in Dallas. Other key angst-nulling noshes: oatmeal (it boosts the calming brain chemical serotonin) and oranges (the vitamin C counters stress hormones).

Tempted to… Swig an energy drink?

Try this instead… Take a nap.

You can't beat stress without shut-eye. A 20-minute siesta is enough to trigger the hormones needed to balance excess cortisol.

Tempted to… Bitch out a coworker?

Try this instead… Pop a multi.

That irritation and impatience may be the result of depleted stores of calcium, copper, and zinc that come with stress. Down a multivitamin to raise those levels and mellow out, says Pamela W. Smith, M.D.

Tempted to… Curl up on the sofa?

Try this instead… Go out with a friend.

A study in Behavioral Neuroscience found that simply being around other people may quash stress.

Tempted to… Reach for the remote?

Try this instead… Spend 15 minutes in silence.

This helps because "the brain doesn't have to filter out stressful sounds," says acupuncturist Kristen Burris.


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