Wow, things are certainly interesting in our world right now.
Are you stressed?
I’ve had many patients contact me for private remote sessions on zoom video and they’ve been reporting high levels of stress. Not only is this uncomfortable but it’s damaging to your body. I’m going to give you practical tips to begin to counter it right away.
There are several forms of stress: Acute stress, Episodic acute stress, and Chronic stress.
These can impact you in different ways: Physically, Emotionally, and Psychologically.
Physical stress can come from a physically demanding job, chemicals in your environment, or a rocky relationship. Anything that feels demanding can cause stress. Emotional and psychological stress are just as impactful as physical ones so don’t downplay them. Feeling pressures or having fearful thoughts, reliving a traumatic event in your mind, or anything that causes you to feel angry or scared can be an emotional stress.
Begin to identify the stressors in your life. Write them down, make a list. Then one by one find a gift in that stress. What is something good that has come of it, or a helpful lesson you learned from it? Or how is it moving you forward in your life or personal development?
How does Stress impact your physical body?
A few Symptoms that can be caused by Stress:
- Suppressed immune system (ya need this very strong right now)
- Increased risk for hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke)
- Memory issues
- Blood sugar imbalances that can lead to diabetes or unhealthy fluctuations in diabetics.
- Hormone imbalances
- Increased inflammation
- Increased pain levels like back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Difficulty breathing
- Eating disorders
- Weight gain
- Autoimmune issues
- Rapid aging, more wrinkles and silver hair
That’s a long list of symptoms, and it’s not even complete! Many people don’t realize how much stress they are really under. It’s like water to the fish, it’s so part of their life that it’s common and difficult to recognize.
Here are my Stress-Busting Tips:
1) Get out in nature! Get your bare feet on the ground, breathe deeply, quite yourself and notice nature’s rhythm around you. See if you can intend your heart, brain, and the nature around you to become attuned to each other. This is called coherence and it’s powerfully therapeutic and decreases the effects of stress.
2) Acts of self-care: water, food, rest, exercise, owning your power, laughter/joy. Do these, every day.
3) Daily practice: create a daily practice that down-regulates your nervous system such as restorative yoga, gyrotonics, meditation, journaling, listening to delta brainwave music, walking your dog, setting a daily intention, or chanting a mantra, to name a few.
4) Go swimming, get into water, take a hot bath. If your comfortable in water, it can be a deeply calming element. I love floating and swimming in the ocean and currently dip in my river in Costa Rica at least 1-2x day.
5) Hug people you like/love for at least 2 minutes at a time. Longer is better. Do a full body hug, belly to belly, rather than the A-frame hug where only your upper chest and shoulders touch. The longer you hug and hold each other, the more you co-regulate and this chills out your nervous system.
6) Listen to calming music, or play your own.
7) Read an inspirational book or watch an inspirational talk on social media
8) Bring people together. Hold a monthly book study group, potluck, movie night, or dance party in your home to stay connected to the people you most care about. Ask friends to take turns hosting this kind of gathering and have fun.
9) Connection to community can help you manage your stress much more efficiently. Isolation can make it worse.
10) Laugh! Laughter and joy change the chemicals in your body and can help you destress. Listen to comedians, read a silly book, learn jokes with your friend, or play a silly game with your family.
11) Make Love! Consensual sex can be a fun and connected way to release stress and tension and get a nice hit of oxytocin (a love and bonding chemical that feels good)
In my first book Holistic Keto for Gut Health, I go into more depth as to how stress causes illness. If this topic interests you, please get my book by clicking here.
Blessings of Vibrant Health,
LAc, MAc, CFMP(R), CST-T, CLP
Health and Lifestyle Alchemist