What to do with all that stress?
With the Holiday time of year building up, one of the most common words we, unfortunately, hear associates with the Holidays is stress. However, it isn't just around the Holidays that we hear about the struggle people face with stress. We seem to have accepted that stress automatically comes with life in modern times. It's being mentioned that stress is the new health epidemic of the 21st Century. The truth is that we aren't meant to be operating in a constant state of stress. Our bodies simply can't sustain constant stress over many years.
I believe it's beneficial for us to start changing the way we perceive stress. I invite you to consider that we don't manage stress and that instead, we manage the life activities that we feel cause us stress. So, even though you might be stressed to the max right now, there are still small, practical steps you can take to manage yourself and stay healthy.
So, why am I talking about stress in the first place?
The truth is that it sure is critical to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better.
Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement. You may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle the stress.
Truth: what are some of the effects of stress on your body?
I’m the first person to pretend that stress isn't impacting me, so if you’re like me, then the two of us need to have a “Come to Buddha” moment and get real about how stress IS affecting our bodies.
Stress increases cortisol production associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), an inability to lose weight or gain muscle and premature aging.
Stress decreases nutrient absorption due to reduced enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas, and liver and decreases bile flow from the gallbladder.
Stress increases nutrient excretion such as urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium and microminerals.
Stress decreases gut flora populations by destroying healthy intestinal bacteria and can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress.
Stress increases salt retention which can lead to high blood pressure.
Stress decreases the thyroid hormone which can negatively affect your metabolism.
Stress decreases sex hormones which lead to loss of libido and low energy.
But you’re not reading this just to talk about problems; you’re looking for solutions. So read on...
How can I reduce or cope better with stress?
Remember, you are managing your activities to reduce your experience of stress by even 1%.
Here’s how you can do that, starting NOW:
Look at your calendar for the next seven days. What’s one activity you’ve committed to that you can cancel?
Look at your to-do list. What’s one item you can delegate to someone else in the next 24 hours?
Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself —where you’re not taking care of anyone else or being “productive”—so you can just relax and play and do something mindless?
Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in a 10-minute walk or Frisbee toss in your backyard? The fresh air and movement will help you cope way better with stress.
Before your next meal, try what I call the “5-5-7” breath. Inhale for a count of 5, hold your breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 7. Repeat at least three times. This practice gives your body a chance to relax before your meal, which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating.
What do I do now?
If you feel too stressed to relax, and you KNOW it’s affecting your health, your weight and your energy levels, click here now to schedule a time to talk with me about how to reduce or cope better with stress in your life.
I’ve helped many of my clients solve this problem, and chances are excellent that I can help you, too!
Peace + Love,
P.S. – Want more? Subscribe to my weekly healthy living email to stay connected and informed.