How Celebs Beat Stress
It’s trickier to find a big-name star who hasn’t suffered from stress or anxiety than one who has. In fact there’s a bit of a T’Town epidemic and the poor loves don’t seem to be much better at coping than we are.
Britney Spears has long suffered from anxiety, Madonna admits she gets so stressed she wants to scream, and Gwyneth Paltrow spilled, “I have never been very good at handling stress (though a bit of meditation helps)!”
Luckily, Gwyn’s got access to the world’s best stressperts and she doesn’t mind sharing. The 40-year-old actress revealed back in 2011, “I got some good answers that don’t require a 90-minute yoga class, or flying to a hippie-style silent retreat (I’ve actually done one, don’t ask), just simple things that we all have access to.” Thanks, Gwyn – tell all!
The Celeb Stresspert
Mrs Martin’s celebrity chum, Dr Oz Garcia, is the man with a plan who helped Gwyn through some tricky times before revealing the little changes we can all make to deal with stress. “Although finding physical and emotional outlets for stress is crucial, diet can play a big role as well,” revealed Dr Oz. “During times of stress, I notice different eating behaviours with my clients. There is the stressed personality that tends to overeat out of nervousness. They use food as a source of comfort. Usually they don’t crave salads, vegetables, or something healthy; they prefer the ‘Feel Good’ foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates.”
Sounds familiar, right? And we’re not alone. T’Town’s jam-packed with stress eaters and starvers. Demi Lovato recently admitted she suffered from bulimia and binge-ate when she was under pressure. Meanwhile, the stress of her separation from Ashton Kutcher has sent Demi Moore into a spiral of starving and surviving on energy drinks, which isn’t working for her!
So how can she beat it? Dr Oz explains, “When you are stressed, be aware of your blood sugar levels. It is important to eat several times throughout the day and not go hungry. Stress can also cause a surge in cortisol and adrenaline. Some of the best foods for regulating those stress hormones are fresh fish like tuna and salmon. Incorporate healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, as well as pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.” Anything else? “Green leafy vegetables are good too – they contain minerals like iron and magnesium. B vitamins are also important during stressful times and can be found in organic eggs, oatmeal and tofu.”
Dr Lavina Ahuja, a psychologist at LifeWorks Counselling and Development in Dubai, deals with clients who are struggling with stress in the Middle East. We asked why so many of us are at a breaking point? “It may be stress brought on by a number of things: a poor relationship, work stress, the stress of having recently moved to a new country, or even the stress we put on ourselves,” explains Dr Ahuja. “Symptoms range from low mood and anxiety or irritability, to frequent sleep issues, headaches and constant feelings of tension,” she adds. So how can we beat it? “The best way to deal with stress and anxiety would be to make sure that we allow ourselves the time and space to relax,” adds Dr Ahuja. “Make sure you make the time for yourself in your schedule to relax and to unwind. Read a book, go for a walk or a massage or practice yoga or meditation to soothe yourself.” Sounds good, we can do that!
Beat Stress, Celeb-Style
• Jennie Garth says, “As far as maintaining balance in my life, I just take it one day at a time. And I make a lot of lists.”
• Kate Winslet spills, “I plan everything in advance: who’s dropping off [the kids], who’s picking up. We have charts, maps, and lists on the fridge, all over the house. I sometimes feel like I’m with the CIA.”
• Take vitamin B, it’s known to help with feelings of anxiety. Vitamin C is great too as it regulates the stress hormone cortisol.
• Exercise. It’s the quickest way to increase serotonin to the brain, which makes you feel better.
• Cut back on sugar. It might be a quick fix but it’ll make you feel worse in the long run, so dodge sweets.
• Talk. There’s a lot of sense in that old adage about a problem shared being a problem halved.