Are you stressed to the max right now? Did you know there are small, practical steps you can take to cope with that stress and stay healthy? There are. And these are easy.
But first, why am I talking about stress?
Like it’s not enough to live with stress, now I’ve got to be talking about it too?! Agh…. not fun…!!!
Even though we don’t really like talking (or hearing) about stress, it is REALLY important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better.
Aim for a 1% improvement
Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement….you may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle the stress. Worthwhile, yes?
What are some of the effects of stress on your body?
For years I lived with high stress professionally and personally. I was a workaholic for years. I was raised to “work hard” and I did. I took on more responsibility than was mine to take on to “prove” I was good enough (that’s an entire week of posts!) And personally, my oldest son has struggled with addiction for the past 9 years.
So if you are anything like me, I invite you to a “Come to Jesus (or Buddha)” moment to get real about how stress IS affecting your body. Here are just a few facts:
- Stress increases cortisol production associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), an inability to lose weight or gain muscle and premature aging
- Stress decreases nutrient absorption due to decreased enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas and liver and decreased bile flow from the gall bladder
- Stress increases nutrient excretion such as urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium and microminerals
- Stress decreases gut flora populations by destroying healthy intestinal bacteria and can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress
- Stress increases salt retention which can lead to high blood pressure
- Stress decreases the thyroid hormone which can negatively affect your metabolism
- Stress decreases sex hormones which leads to loss of libido and low energy
But you’re not reading this just to talk about problems, you’re reading to find solutions! So read on…
How can I reduce or cope better with stress?
Remember, since we can’t always control the stress in our lives, the goal is to reduce our experience of stress by even 1%.
Here’s how you can do that, starting NOW:
- Look at your calendar for the next 7 days. What’s one activity you’ve committed to that you can cancel?
- Look at your to-do list. What’s one item you can delegate to someone else in the next 24 hours?
- Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself —where you’re not taking care of anyone else or being “productive”— so you can just relax and play and do something mindless?
- Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in a 10-minute walk or Frisbee toss in your backyard? The fresh air and movement will help you cope waaay better with stress.
- Before your next meal, try what I call the “4-7-8” breath. This is a technique from Dr. Andrew Weil. Inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, then exhale for a count of 8. Repeat at least 3 times. This gives your body a chance to relax before your meal, which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating.
What can I do now?
If you feel too stressed to relax, and you KNOW it’s affecting your health, your weight and your energy levels, then click here NOW to schedule a time to talk with me about how to reduce or cope better with the stress in your life.
I know that my years of chronic stress contributed to my cancers, my constant low energy, and my thyroid issues. So don’t wait. Schedule a time to talk to me. I’ve helped my clients shift from feeling constantly stressed to feeling relaxed for maybe the first time in years. Chances are very good that I can help you too.