I saw this article on Yahoo Health and I thought I would share it with you. We have a lot of services at the Optimal Fitness Lifestyle Center, but at the end of the day it is all about stress management and the feeling of control we all have. There are many forms of stress in our lives, not just the mental & emotional stress we carry around from relationships, jobs, finances, etc. Other forms of stress are chemicals in our food, air and water supply, the physical stress we have from poor posture and for some over training with exercise when we are not able to recover from the exercise stress due to lack of sleep, poor diet, not eating enough throughout the day, etc.
Once you are more aware of all the things that are stressing your physiology you can begin to make changes in your lifestyle. Read the article below for some good stress management tips:
June 18th, 2007
by Dr. Maoshing Ni
Stress has become a part of the fabric of our busy lives, but it wreaks havoc on our health – and our lives. Read on to learn some measures that you can take to become stress-free.
The Impact of Stress
Epinephrine or adrenaline is produced during the stressful bouts of fight-flight and survival mode gets turned on all too often these days. The adrenaline is released from the adrenal gland when you are under mental pressure, and it tells the body to convert stored sugar from the liver to glucose because the energy needs of the body will increase substantially during the supposed fight-or-run-for-your-life scenario.
The bad news is that this scenario almost never plays out and the excess blood sugar that never got used up ends up being stored as fat.
One of two things can happen from a prolonged survival mode.
One: Your body will keep storing up excess sugar as fat and asking for more energy from more sugar. This equals weight gain (an unpleasant side-effect of stress).
Two: All of this stress and Herculean effort continually depletes your body of its energy resources until it inevitably crumples under the overload. This can either lead to adrenal exhaustion, nervous breakdown, or a broken down immune system – thereby exposing a person to disease. The vicious circle repeats itself over and over again and people never seem to be able to get out of the rat race.
Release Your Stress
Here are some healthy habits you can integrate into your daily grind to free yourself from stress forever.
1. Cut the Caffeine: Caffeine stimulates the adrenaline release. Give up the cup of coffee and opt for the therapeutic benefits of caffeine-free herbal teas. Or you can cut down on your caffeine intake by substituting green tea for coffee, which usually has 1/3 of the caffeine of a cup of coffee, but with the benefits of the antioxidant polyphenols.
2. Meditation: A daily meditation program can be your number one method to decompress at the end of a busy day and release tension.
3. Take a Breather: Exhale the stress away. Specific exercises can detoxify your body and revitalize your being. Try this exercise, adapted from Chinese qigong and make your goal to slow down, smooth out, and deepen each breath. With every exhalation, utter the word calm in your mind and breathe out the tension from a part of your body, starting from the top of your head and working your way down through each part of your body until you get to your feet. Release the remaining tension through your toes and the bottoms of your feet.
4. Cleanse the Clutter: Have you ever heard the saying that what you own soon owns you? Not only do these unnecessary items consume much of your energy for cleaning and maintenance, they also add to the clutter, making you disorganized and increasing your stress level. Cut back and let go. A good rule of thumb is that anything you haven’t used in six months can be given away to charity.
5. Lighten Your Schedule: Cut back on the commitments in your calendar of events. If you are really scrambling for some free time, try writing in a day per week to just spend alone and relax…and stick to it!
6. Reframe Your Perspective: As you move through your day, pay attention to what causes you feelings of stress. Our response has much to do with how it will affect us; by reframing our perspective on stressful situations, we can often see that the danger is largely an illusion. Then we can maintain a calm frame of mind.
I hope you take some healthy steps toward reducing daily stress. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!