While it is true that disease carrying viruses and bacteria which are resistant to drugs have proliferated, they are not the cause of many ailments that people suffer, but stress.

The world today has become so fast-paced and difficult that many people who can’t cope up with its pressures lose their physical, mental and spiritual strength and eventually fall prey to stress.

Stress is actually the reaction of your body and mind to the changes that requires you to make the necessary physical and emotional adjustment.

But many people respond to stress wrongly by resorting to unhealthy habits such as using drugs, smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating, repression and social withdrawal.  These only bring temporary relief and more problems.

The body is designed to fight stress, but too much exposure to it without relief can result in a negative reaction called distress.  Distress can manifest in many forms, including headaches, high blood pressure, stomach pains, chest pains and insomnia.  These can also lead to more serious symptoms or ailments.

Below are the nutrients and a few techniques which can help you reduce stress:

1. Panthothenic Acid

This substance plays a part in controlling the secretion of adrenal glands when you are under stress.  Foods that are rich in panthothenic acid include cereal grains, legumes, lamb, chicory greens and mushrooms.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important substance that your body uses to fight anxiety, but this is usually depleted when you are in stressful situations.  You have to give yourself an extra load of Vitamin C especially during stressful times.  It also helps to boost your immune system.  Vitamin C rich foods include oranges, guavas, raspberries, broccoli and many more.

3. Zinc

Zinc is the mineral that is known as the brain neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger released from one nerve cell to another and creating a chemical reaction in the process.  Some foods that contain zinc include poultry, whole grains, oysters and nuts.

4. Magnesium

This mineral helps to reduce stress as well as it helps to minimize the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer, among others.  You can get magnesium from brown rice, okra, spinach and almonds.

5. St. John’s Wort or Valerian

These are herbs that help to keep you calm, relax and eventually reduce your stress level.  You cannot take both herbs at the same time.

6. Meditation

Meditation is an ancient relaxation technique that helps to relieve stress.  It involves visualization, deep breathing and concentrated focus that results in the awakening of your body’s natural relaxation responses.

7. Talking to a friend

Stress is sometimes caused by unsaid or unexpressed responses about a situation, but it can be reduced or relieved when it is poured onto an ear that is willing to listen.  When you are stressed about the pressures of everyday life, try talking it out to a friend and you’ll see that much of your burden will disappear.