Learn how to de-stress your body and build up your glands of stress by way of healthy lifestyle, including diet and specialised supplementation.
During these stressful times, it is vitally important that you look after your health and the health of those around you. Stress intensifies the demands on your body. Nutrients become used up faster than food, toxic by-products rapidly build up, and every organ and gland, including your brain, must work harder.
Just imagine the difference between the requirements of driving your car around town at 30 miles an hour and around a racetrack at 180 miles an hour. In a race, your vehicle needs better fuel along with better and more frequent care. Our bodies are the same. During stress, your body is in a race, and to finish the race in good shape, it is essential to pay attention to what your body needs and to step up your level of self care. Because I have dealt successfully with the impact of stress on the human body in my naturopathic clinic for many years, please let me share with you some of the most valuable information I have learned, and hope this will help you remain healthy and handle these stressful times more easily. I have learned more and developed better tools to combat stress’s destructive effects and avoid adrenal fatigue and other health problems related to stress.
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I’d like to offer you some of this expanded knowledge here. Keep in mind that, as a general rule, the better your overall health, the better you handle stress. I’m confident that when you follow my D E S T R E S S guidelines (below) for protecting your health from stress, you will notice a real difference in how you feel and function.
In times of less, we often have to do without many of the material things we took for granted. It gives us a chance to re-evaluate who and what is important to our happiness and to focus on them. Imagine that today is the last day you’ll see the people in your life. How would you treat them differently? Imagine that everything gets taken away from you, your health, your home, your work, your status, your possessions, and your faith. Which ones would you miss most? Which ones would you work hardest to regain? Decide to live in a way that corresponds to the answers you gave to these questions.
Sometimes instituting simple changes into your life, like eliminating caffeine because it makes you more nervous or sugar because it burns up nutrients, can have a huge payoff. Stress uses up nutrients at a very high rate. You can quickly become semi-malnourished from even moderately high stress, so it is important to eat as well as you can to provide the most nutrients to your body. Your body responds best when you eat regular, nourishing meals. It often helps to plan nutritious meals and snacks ahead of time and then grocery shop once a week so you have healthy foods available for meals and snacks.
Then it’s less likely you’ll grab junk food on the run because it’s fast. Instead, you’ll give your body the nourishment it needs to meet the demands you’re placing on it, without taking up too much time and probably for less money. Besides good nutrition, enjoyable exercise (think making love, dancing, wrestling with your kids, playing a sport with friends, not just working out at the gym) reduces the detrimental impact of stress on your body. It not only helps normalise many bodily functions but also eliminates toxins, increases energy, decreases depression and just makes you feel better about everything, especially yourself.
Taking dietary supplements specifically designed to support and strengthen your body during stress can be important to help you have better energy, and remain calm, clear-headed, focused and steady throughout the day. If you are having difficulty staying balanced during the day and feel anxious about some mild depression, a herbal medicine formulated with organically grown herbs specifically to help you stay in balance during the day and to sleep well at night.
During stress your body burns up many times the daily requirement of vitamin C. A sustained release vitamin C formula that provides a steady supply of vitamin C, plus bioflavonoids for increased vitamin C activity, antioxidants to protect your tissues from the damaging effects of stress, and trace minerals to balance the vitamin C’s acidity so it’s easier on your stomach.
Change little things in the day to help you decrease stress, for example, if you are always hurrying to work, leave 5 minutes earlier or however much time you need to get there without stressing about it. If you have to get up 15 minutes ahead of time, do it so that you can relax your way through the early hours rather than rushing and working yourself into a tizzy. On the way to work, forget the news.
You can’t do anything about most things you hear except perhaps the traffic report. Play something you enjoy instead. Also, remember to breathe more deeply when at work. Breathing slowly in and out through your nose from your abdomen is automatically relaxing.
Most of our stress is because of our internal interpretation of the things that happen to us. Re-framing how we view things helps tremendously in decreasing the stress we are experiencing. If, for example, you are afraid of losing your job, your nervousness may actually cause you to behave in ways that lead to losing your job. However, if you become proactive instead of reacting in fear, it’s more likely you will experience a better outcome. You could try to find out if the company is actually going to lay people off, and if you are likely to be one of them.
You can look at the company and see if there is something you can do to improve company performance or increase your value at work, get your resume up to date, trim your household expenses, look at other employment opportunities, investigate ways to supplement your income, and encourage your family to join in an economising mode.
To release yourself from the paralysis and destructive emotional reactions that often arise from unpleasant events or the anticipation of those events, it is necessary to open yourself to possibility. When you look back on how your life has gone, you’ll probably find that sometimes a hard event or disappointment lead to something unexpectedly good. Re-framing allows you to invite the possibility of something good into your life, of seeing opportunity rather than disaster looming ahead. Your body will react accordingly and alter the level of stress you experience, both physically and mentally.
It is important to distinguish between things in your life that are contributing to your health and things that are detracting from it. It can be certain people, situations or environments that drain your energy or stress you. Take some time to notice each day what makes you feel energised and what makes you feel tired, depressed, angry or helpless. Once you notice them, take definite steps to eliminate the energy robbers in your life.
Make a commitment to yourself to establish clear boundaries that curtail their ability to take up your time, energy, and emotional space. This means both outer boundaries, like limits on the amount of contact you have with someone or avoidance of certain situations, and inner boundaries, like switching your focus from negative thoughts about yourself and others to something useful or positive. Take every opportunity to bring into your life more of what makes you happy, gives you energy and helps you feel good.
Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of reducing the effects of stress on your body. During sleep is when your body does most of its healing, repairing, and replenishing. It may surprise you at what a difference 8 to 9 hours of good quality, restful sleep a night can make to your health and sense of well-being.
A good herbal support formula taken ½ hour before bedtime, along with 400 mg of magnesium citrate, helps your body relax and get good restful sleep. As sleep is a renewing time for your body, so periods of silent solace, whether they are as prayer, meditation, peaceful contemplation of nature, or quiet concentration on music, art or a physical activity like sports or dance, become a source of renewal for your heart and mind. Every aspect of yourself needs rest and respite in order to become refreshed and ready to carry on.
In a recent study, subjects who made the physical action of smiling, even though it was just from holding a pencil in their mouths with no emotional content, reported feeling happier than those who didn’t make this facial gesture under the same conditions.
Smile, even when you don’t think you have anything to smile about! The physical action changes how you feel inside, and that changes how you behave and how your body reacts. Look a little deeper at the people, places and events around you, and try to see their soulful qualities enriching your life.
Feel a smile growing inside you in as you notice the soulfulness of life with all its difficulties, struggles and triumphs, absurdities and beauty. Allow yourself a soulful smile, and your body and mind will respond!
This financial and global crisis will end, but the stresses of life will continue. It is important that you take care of yourself now to not just survive, but to strengthen your health during this time, so you will always be ready for whatever lies ahead.