Proper stress management is a vital part of living a healthy lifestyle. Trust me, I have seen the effects it can have on people and I’ve experienced the effects myself. Anything from bloating, headaches, poor immune and weight gain can all be linked back to stress. So what to do? Time to save your sanity with these 3 stress solutions:
1. Ctrl/Alt/Delete Negativity- everything we think is our truth, “every thought we think is creating our future (1)” . My belief is that what we think shapes the direction we are headed in. If stress is just a series of thoughts and those negative thoughts consume us and affect our body, than those thoughts are essentially worthless. And if we continue to have these negative thoughts we soon LEARN to have these thoughts and essentially default or (autopilot) to thinking the stressful thoughts. Deep eh! Haha. Our brains are essentially like computers; the outcome of certain actions is programmed in. If you hit ‘ctrl/Alt/Delete’ you will shut down the program you are running- So I think we need to ‘ctrl/Alt/Delete’ our negative thoughts and perhaps the stress (and its effects) will be less evident or severe.
2. Foods to Replenish/ Foods to Soothe- Often we turn to ice cream, chips and wine as comfort food during times of stress. Although these provide instant gratification, eventually the guilt sets in and most of us end up feeling lousier. The thing we need to remember in this situation is that stress is essentially in our heads, so knowing the facts and what to do allows us to get out of our own heads and take action on an unpleasant though Now, I get it, a great glass of red after a hard day certainly helps, but making this a habit will for many ultimately lead to weight gain and additional stress. So in addition to the above strategies, consider the following foods for their healthy stress-busting properties.
During times of stress the body loses its stores of Vitamin C from the adrenal glands; kiwi, collard greens, red bell peppers, mustard and turnip greens are all rich in vitamin C and will help replenish what has been lost.
Guacamole, nuts, asparagus and seafood are loaded with B vitamins which as we have learned are essential to healthy adrenal gland function.
Spinach, raw chocolate and bananas are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate our cortisol levels.
Fresh water fish like salmon, trout and cod contain omega 3 fatty acids which protect the heart from surges in stress hormones.
3. Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique which has been used for treatment of ills and diseases. This therapy goes back centuries, and today, if you scroll through scholarly articles on trials using acupuncture to help with a myriad of health concerns, you won’t be lacking the information.
Acupuncture is so commonly used these days for any number of healing functions and lucky for you stress is one of these! According to the well respected Cleveland Clinic, Acupuncture “stimulates the body’s ability to resist or overcome illnesses and conditions by correcting imbalances. Acupuncture also prompts the body to produce chemicals that decrease or eliminate painful sensations.” The Journal of Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical states that “ acupuncture modulates endogenous regulatory systems, including the sympathetic nervous system, the endocrine system, and the neuroendocrine system”. In regular person language this is basically saying that acupuncture has the ability to influence or control internal systems like hormones and the nervous systems (which is partially comprised of the brain). We learned above that stress is a mental or emotional strain or tension, so it makes sense that acupuncture would be beneficial for this!
There are many licensed acupuncturists out there. Make sure you find one that specializes in stress management acupuncture to ensure you are getting the best possible treatment for you.
(1)Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, 1999,p 9