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In order to perform well, a certain degree of positive stress is needed. Positive stress can be experienced when someone is well focused on a specific task, motivated, feeling confident and also excited about the result they are hoping to achieve.

We all know bad stress isn’t good for us, and this study shows a large amount of negative stress significantly can lead to physical and psychological illness. Negative stress occurs when a person feels unable to perform or to cope with a situation. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on us can be stressful.

We are entering a time where food and stress can be elevated with the holidays. While these happy times shared with family and friends are wonderful, too many activities can leave us feeling exhausted. More often than not, we also tend to indulge ourselves on food and/or alcohol.

Tips on not overindulging: Don’t go to a party hungry, eat salad/soup before meal, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and alternate water between cocktails.

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Make entertaining a team effort. Don’t try to do it all yourself. (I’m guilty of this one.) Ask not only family, but friends to help and you can return the favor.

We get invited to parties, we want to take our kids to everything holiday, and we want to do it all. Focus on the important things and do only those things because life will fill in the gaps and keep you busy enough.

Get a head start by pre-planning and pre-prepping. Whether its planning what you’re going to wear or meal planning, do as much prep work as you can before it’s just a few days away. Put together outfits and prep/ freeze food to make life just a little easier.

Pay attention to your body. It will signal you in the form of irritability, muscle tension, aches and pains, headaches, or sleepless nights.

Consider the following options to help supplement your body in times of stress:

Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps reduce stress and relaxes your mind and body. (A natural side affect is it can aid in weight loss.) You can also take an L-theanine supplement multiple times a day. Research suggest L-theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness.

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Ashwagandha is known as the “chill pill” and the entire plant, from roots to seeds, has beneficial properties. It is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body manage stress.

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Getting a good nights sleep is important in general, but during times of stress it’s critical. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body that helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Sometimes we need a little boost and that’s when a melatonin supplement comes in handy.

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