Who would have thought that if we didn't do these three things well enough we are more susceptible to stress. Apparently it all comes from early times (like most things about our body and brain). We ate pure unprocessed food, we slept a lot, and we would hunt all day. Don't worry, you don't actually have to go hunting, replace hunting with exercise.
There is plenty written about the importance of sleep so I am not going to add to the plethora of information on it, Google is full of helpful information for you. Just know that you need sleep for your brain to process the day's activities. When you sleep your brain defrags the thousands of thoughts and activities accumulated through the day just like when you run a defrag maintenance tool on your computer.
Dreams occur when your brain is defragging (is that such a word). We go through three REM cycles a night, at least we should, each one lasting about 120 minutes. Rapid eye movement is the last stage of each cycle and is when dreams occur. If you don’t go into this dream phase then you may feel tired the next day.
Exercise is what you need to do to ensure that blood is circulated through your plumbing and filters (kidney, liver, lungs, etc) so that clean oxygenated blood flows into your brain and 'cleans it out' properly. 30 minutes of continuous medium-to-fast paced walking is enough to ensure your filters are working hard enough. Plus, exercise can assist in growing new neurons in your brain, those little things that send messages around the brain. Know that this is a good thing.
Food is something that I never really thought too much about before. We all know that if we eat badly we will feel bad and probably not be at our best. What I have only recently found out was that if we don't eat the right food then there is a high likelihood that our brain will react adversely as if we are under stress.
It all has to do with our insulin levels. When insulin (blood sugar) drops our body produces Adrenalin and cortisol, both of which occur when we are under stress. Additionally, these two chemicals are like a poison to our body. Adrenalin and cortisol are produced so that we can run away from danger, if there is no danger and we don't run then the poison sits in our system. Hence another reason to exercise by the way.
I am going to take a closer look at this eating factor, I'll tell you how you can eat better to reduce stress. That's for next week.