No matter how much you might want to get rid of it, stress is a normal part of the human experience. In fact, all living creatures experience some type of stress over the course of their lives. However, human beings have taken this to new extremes, stressing out over things that often can’t be prevented. In any case, there’s no need to allow stress to completely take over your life. This article looks at some strategies, that worked for me, on how to prevent excess stress.- Eat a healthy breakfast. How you begin your day will have a lot to do with how the rest of it goes. The first thing your brain needs upon awakening is some amino acids. Having gone all night without eating, your brain and body are in slow motion. Your thinking is foggier and your metabolism will have slowed to a crawl, reducing the rate at which you’re able to digest anything. Try eating foods that are plentiful in vitamin B6, such as turkey, tuna and bananas. This will help your body produce more serotonin, which is important for proper bowel function. Coffee should be consumed in moderation, which is difficult for me to do.- Take breaks. Another important strategy to keep stress from piling up is to take frequent breaks throughout the day. Short breaks of just 3 minutes provide a chance to reset your system and decrease the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone) being produced. Cortisol interferes with your productivity and ability to maintain mental focus. Breaks are also important before eating, as cortisol can also hinder digestion. Taking some deep breaths or listening to soothing music is a great way to enjoy a few minutes away from whatever you might be dealing with.- Exercise. Exercise is very important to your overall health and it can do a lot to help you manage stress. Endorphins released while exercising provide feelings of euphoria, distracting you from pain and stress by binding with opiate receptors in your brain. Exercise also helps your body process food more effectively, which can reduce your chances for developing stress-related weight problems.- Maintain a healthy social life. Spending time with family and friends can be difficult when you’re a busy person, but it’s necessary to achieve a well-balanced life. As a matter of fact, most researchers agree that it can probably help you live longer. One of the studies I read about recently actually concluded that the negative health effects experienced by people lacking social relationships are similar to those experienced by smokers. Research has also shown that spending time with others increases production of oxytocin, a hormone known to lower blood pressure.- Spend some time in nature. Life in today’s urban cities has deprived people of the calming effects associated with natural environments. Studies have found that walking outdoors in natural settings induces greater feelings of relaxation than staying indoors. As a result, eco-therapy has grown in popularity in recent years. Eco-therapy involves connecting with the sights and sounds of nature to help ease the effects of anxiety, depression and stress. This type of therapy may involve gardening or conservation work conducted in natural environments. Eco-therapy provides various mental health benefits, particularly with regard to stress.–It’s important to remember that although you’ll never be rid of stress completely, there are lots of things you can do to reduce its impact on your life. Most of them involve returning to better habits that are largely forgotten in the commotion of modern life. With a few small changes in your routine, you’ll find that stress can indeed be managed and it is possible to get back to enjoying life.