Everyone knows that when the Incredible Hulk feels stress, he turns into a raging, green monster.
But when you worry about money, work, relationships, family or health problems, you're more likely to get headaches, gut troubles and/or fatigue, as well as see flares of anger and impatience. And those physical responses come with a pretty stiff price tag: Half of all deaths in folks younger than 65 are stress-related.
So if you're stressed, try these two stress-reduction techniques.
Put stress-reducing foods on your plate. Certain foods reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and that will help protect your cardiovascular system and nerves. Calming foods include spinach, for its cortisol-controlling magnesium; white beans, barley, mackerel and cod, for their phosphatidylserine, a component of cell membranes that can calm nerves and help you sleep; citrus fruit's vitamin C helps slow cortisol production; and salmon and ocean trout are packed with inflammation-quelling DHA omega-3s that may reduce stress feelings.
Give yourself a massage. We suggest Ayurvedic self-massage for its immune-modulating, pleasure-producing benefits that can reduce anxiety, tummy troubles, headaches, insomnia, even TMJ. After you get out of the shower, using a light oil, rub each body part from the top of your head to your toes with a firm, gentle, circular motion. You also can use roller-bars, hand-held massage sprayers and rolling balls on legs, back and feet.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.