According to Hans Syle, “Stress is the common denominator of all adaptive reactions in the body when the body is forced to adapt to stressors. ( that which produces stress).
Stress, it is part of life today. The fast paced rhythm of everyday life is startling. The alarm clock beeps but, you just fell asleep not more than two hours ago. Your cell phone rings, your emails buzz, text messages ping. You open your swollen eyes and stare disbelievingly at the two small children crouched over your bed waiting for breakfast. It’s only 7:00AM and you are frazzled – out of sync and the day has just begun, insisting that you become alert, concentrating on the challenges of the day. You have meetings to attend, appointments to make, and deadlines to meet. Tethered to technology, you keep track of all worldwide news events, take pictures, play games, download music and update your status on your favorite social network. You have more responsibilities, more stress, and more things going on than ever before; the pace at which we live is dizzyingly discombobulating– honestly, it is insane.
As a result of this hectic lifestyle, many people are sick, stressed, and exhausted, and to compensate for how they are feeling, some pop pills to keep their edge. This hypervigilant and manic lifestyle that many Americans are leading is exhausting and all too familiar. Constantly stimulated by stress, many people today are living in a state of hyper-arousal, depleting the body’s nutritional status, wearing out the body’s adrenal glands. If you are looking for improved health, it is time to change the way you live. Put on the brakes and stop loading up your life with too much stuff. Simplifying can be accomplished, but forget the magic wand. Sorry Tinkerbell. Give yourself permission to rest and step out of the perpetual frenzied whirlwind, and into the peace where you set boundaries and begin to have control over your life. To fully thrive and feel well, it is not only necessary to eliminate your stressors, but to also pursue loving and joyful lives.
But here is the down and dirty on stress. Stress affects both physical and mental health. It impacts your nutritional status by demanding an increased need for vitamins and minerals to prevent a depletion of its storehouse which the body needs to prevent a physiologic and or psychological dysfunction. And there is more. Stress can be multifactorial—external, internal or both. Positive stress ( a wedding or a party) can also affect your body. According to Dr. Paul Eck, “ Both internal and vitamin imbalances originating from stress result in the body’s increased inability to maintain biochemical equilibrium or homestasis.”
Making new life choices for your vitality are important, and here are some important suggestions to consider:
Sleep and Rest
- Sleep and rest are the most significant aspects of balancing one’s lifestyle because they promote regeneration, healing, and development of the mind and body. However, most people do not get enough sleep and rest. If you need coffee, soda, chocolate, anger, worry or other stimulants to get you moving in the morning, or keep you perked up throughout the day, you are not sleeping enough. Try sleeping 8-10 hours each night and even attempt to nap during the day. Catching those ZZZ’s are essential to your well-being.
- Eat at least three regular meals every day or and five smaller meals to balance blood sugar and prevent stress on the adrenal glands. Have sit down meals, and do your best to avoid snacking while working, driving or standing around. Rest at least several minutes before and after eating to optimize digestion. Choose a diet rich in lightly cooked vegetables, healthy proteins, healthy fats (flax oil, olive oil and butter) and gluten free grains such as quinoa and brown rice. Mealtime should be enjoyable social times of conversation and togetherness. Do not let soccer time take precedence over family meals. Instead, try restructuring mealtime or skip the lessons at this time of day. You can make meals special by lighting a candle, dimming the lights enabling you to set the tone for a peaceful enjoyable meal.
- Drink 3 quarts or more of spring water daily as a means to hydrate the body.
Habits of Thought
- Take full responsibility for your life. When you take responsibility for you everything in your life, you will begin to feel empowered. It might take some time to explore your new choices, but you have the ability to make them.
- Think in a positive direction. Look on the bright side of things as much as possible. It does not mean to ignore the obvious or to believe things will work out when all the facts argue against it. It just means to avoid inferring and implying negative outcomes when you really don’t know the truth.
- Mild and gentle exercise is a wonderful way to improve your health. Depending on your health and age, 10-30 minutes of walking several times a week is a great way to begin your healthy lifestyle.
Joy Feldman is a nutritional consultant, writer, and sought after lecturer. She is the author of Joyful Cooking in the Pursuit of Good Health and Is Your Hair Made of Donuts? Learn more at www.joyfeldman.com and at www.isyourhairmadeofdonuts.com