10 Tips for Beating Stress
Health & Weight Loss Coaching | Corporate Health Management | Nutritionist | Naturopath | PT
Paul is passionate about both helping people achieve their health goals and the business of healthcare. He has worked alongside a number of high-level health and business mentors and have learned from them the value of thinking outside the box.
He enjoys helping clients achieve their health goals and collaborating with fellow health and business professionals, exploring ways to do what we do better, to improve our business, quality of life and for our own health.
Stress just ain’t what it used to be and that’s a real problem . Back when we were living in caves the “fight or flight” stress response stimulated a chemical response from our Adrenal glands that enabled us to fight or run from that Sabre Toothed Tigre coming in the door. Today our stress is more likely to be something that nags at us all day, every day but our body reacts just as it did when we needed to fight for our life.
Chronic stress is a big risk factor for serious health problems and disrupts nearly every system in the body. It raises blood pressure, suppresses your immune system and nutrient absorption, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility and accelerate the aging process.
But don’t stress!! Following are some tips to help you adjust to the stress in your life.
ID your stress. It helps to address this in even small ways. Positive steps towards reducing the cause of your stress will help your body manage and recover from its demands much more effectively.
It’s all about chemistry. Our body’s hormonal and nervous response to stress is very much the result of chemistry. Choosing nutritious foods that support the nervous system helps us manage stress much more effectively. Other factors such as stimulants or food additives reduce our resilience against stress. Minimizing these will be beneficial.
1. Eat your greens
The minerals magnesium and potassium and the B vitamins nourish our nervous system. Green vegetables are rich in magnesium while most fruits supply plenty of potassium. Fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds are excellent sources. All are rich in various B vitamins. A variety is best.
2. Nourish your adrenals.
Magnesium, calcium and vitamin C support our adrenal glands, which control the stress response. You will find plenty of these nutrients in the foods listed above.
3. Wholesome oats
Wholesome oats are used in herbal medicine to sooth the nervous system. A hot bowl of porridge on a cold winters morning will balance blood sugar levels and nourish your nervous system for the day ahead.
4. Drink More Water
The stress response is aggravated when we are dehydrated. Our body is around 75% water and dehydration affects its ability to function on all levels. Note that thirst is not an early but a late symptom of dehydration. Drink enough WATER (not coffee, tea, soft drinks or alcohol) to stimulate 6 – 8 nice strong urinations per day.
5. Calming Herbs
Calming herbs help reduce stress and anxiety. Lavender, lemon balm and passionflower teas can be found in your health food store. Homoeopathic remedies and bush flower essences can also be helpful.
Exercise is fabulous for burning up stress hormones and is arguably the number 1 way to bounce back from any single stressful situation. Moderate exercise produces endorphins, our “feel good hormones,” help reduce blood pressure and balances blood sugar. Intense exercise can help relieve any pent up aggression.
7. Minimise the use of stimulants
such as coffee and soft drinks. The caffeine and sugar they contain aggravates the adrenals and nervous system. Many herbal teas make great substitutes, as do the herbs Rhodiola, Ginkgo or Siberian Ginseng – of course ask your health professional’s advice.
8. Reduce smoking and alcohol consumption
Both of these rob the body of many nutrients, including those that nourish our nervous system and adrenals.
9. Treat yourself to a massage.
This has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and relieves muscular tension. The physical feel good factor has been shown to benefit us also on both hormonal and emotional levels.
10. Get plenty of sleep.
If you’re having problems, the herbs chamomile, passionflower and valerian are useful.
Other great activities for helping your body cope with stress include mediation, yoga or Tai chi. Tai Chi and Yoga are great as require focus and balance and thus will get your mind off the source of your stress as well as anything. I really like Acro Partner Yoga also as working closely with a partner in this way really encourages you to be present.
But anything is great… Go for a walk or do some deep breathing exercises. Having a good laugh with friends is a great way to spend some time for any reason.
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