Stress RX: How to Stay Healthy in a Sick Economy
You Are What You Eat!
Start with eating 6 meals a day, with protein in each meal. For the snack in-between meals use healthy protein bars, cheese sticks, protein shakes, nuts or other healthy proteins. This balances your blood-sugar AND your mood. It also helps metabolize fat more effectively.
Eat as many “raw” foods as possible. Load up on fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, and consider buying organic meat and produce. It’s better for you AND it supports healthy changes in our planet. A trip to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, The Wedge or Lakewinds can inspire better knowledge of nutrition and eating habits.
Reduce that which depletes your body’s balance. Try to reduce use of caffeine (coffees, teas, chocolate), refined sugars and processed foods, sodas, tobacco or alcohol.
Take a good multi-vitamin, since stress flushes vitamins from our bodies and creates imbalance. Try to find gel capsules for more absorbability, or use a liquid, such as Source of Life Liquid Multi-Vitamin. Add the following for faster healing:
- Calcium 2,000 mg daily; magnesium 1,000 mg daily. A natural tranquilizer. Helps relieve anxiety, tension, nervousness, etc.
- B “Stress” Complex. Helps maintain normal nervous system function. Reduces anxiety and has a calming effect on the nerves. Important in the production of certain brain chemicals. As we get older, B vitamins aren’t as absorbable, so intramuscular injections (under a doctor’s supervision) may be necessary every couple months.
- Vitamin C—1,000 mg. daily. Necessary for proper function of adrenal glands and brain chemistry. Vital for dealing with stress and reducing anxiety. Enhances immune response. Get EmergenC fizzy drinks, which includes Bs and other vitamins as well and is very absorbable AND tasty.
- Omega 3s. Consumption of EPA and DHA Omega Fatty Acids reduces risk of heart disease, calms the nervous system, and increases brain health.
- Chromium deficiency can produce nervousness and other symptoms of anxiety. Either take a supplement or try Brewer’s Yeast in water.
- Selenium has been shown to heighten the immune system, elevate mood and decrease anxiety.
- For better sleep, try Melatonin, 1.5 mg daily. A natural hormone that promotes sound sleep.
- TURKEY!! People have had huge success with Tryptophan supplements for insomnia. Ask the Lakewinds Help Desk for the best supplement. I have the Lakewinds brand L-5-HTP capsules.
Create a routine of your favorite activities that support your health and long-term success, and stay committed. Remember author Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words: “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”
Exercise Daily. Regular exercise is key to eliminating stress (stops the release of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline), slowing down the mind, staying in the present moment, and boosting creativity and inspiration. Exercise also brings clarity and focus to your day—which allows you to work SMARTER, not HARDER.
An hour walk or other exercise each day is an investment in YOU—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The benefits are extensive: You release stress, tune up the body temple, and have more energy and ideas to give to others. With benefits like these, you can’t afford to go without it! Put your exercise plan into your calendar and start today!
Get Outside. In our society, people have become less and less likely to connect with the outdoors. Try to get outdoors DAILY. Inhale the fresh air. Visualize healing. Stay in the present and notice the beauty around you. By seeing the miracles of our natural world, you can’t help but to be uplifted and inspired—which puts us in a state of gratitude and paves the way to happiness, health and wholeness.
Use Breath-work. The pace of our thoughts are directly connected physiologically with our breathing. Count your in-breaths up to 20 and start over again. Slow your breathing down. Notice how you release and relax with each exhale. There are many forms of breath-work, but this is the most simple.
Build in Daily Meditation and Prayer. Build in meditation or prayer DAILY. Many people find that regular meditation or prayer helps them relax and handle stress. Meditation can be very simple. For example, you can meditate on the word “peace” or “relax”. Many people, however, find it very healing to meditate on the word, “God”. Or you may find it helpful to meditate on a pleasant person, place, or event. It is good to have a store of pleasant thoughts to draw on during times when healing is necessary. While meditation can have some short-term benefits, it is more effective when practiced on a daily basis. Try meditating twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes each time. Remember, meditation, not medication!
Consider the Progressive Relaxation Technique. This involves tightening and relaxing the major muscle groups one at a time, being aware of each sensation. Start at your feet and work up to your head. Tense the muscles for a count of 10, concentrating on the tension, then let the muscles go lax and breathe deeply, enjoying the sensation of release.
Massage. If you haven’t had the chance to book a massage, now’s the time. The healing benefits are enormous, for all dimensions of our mental and physical health. Check our Business Partner Profile on The Breathing Room for some restorative and innovative healing services.
Monitor Internal Conversations. The way we talk to ourselves has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves and our environment. Telling yourself things like “I should be able to handle this better” or “I shouldn’t have let the idiot cut me off in traffic” only adds to the stressfulness of situations and does not allow your body to heal. Learn to listen for—and then make yourself stop—these futile inner conversations. Some therapists recommend shouting “Get Out!” immediately when any intrusive or unpleasant worries enter your thoughts. Thoughts have the power to hurt or heal. So, fire your inner critic—and HEAL!
Start doing yoga, tai chi or another mind-body practice daily. Get a beginner’s DVD and try to find a “restorative” program. There are excellent classes at most health clubs and community education programs.
Listen to calming music. Sound impacts every area of life, affecting brain waves, thoughts, relationships and well-being. Calming music can reduce stress, enhance immune system function, slow down and balance brain wave activity, reduce muscle tension, increase endorphin levels, and evoke feelings of love and inner peace while opening the mind for expanded spiritual awareness. Sound works because our bodies are electromagnetic systems that operate vibrationally. Sound, which is composed of vibrational frequencies, can attune all parts of us to help release illness, mental stress, repressed emotional and physical problems.
Read inspirational books or listen to tapes. A trip to Barnes and Noble can be quite healing! Remember to focus on content that uplifts and inspires. Personal development classics are written by such prolific authors as Stephen Covey, Deepak Chopra, Napoleon Hill, Louise Hay, Ken Blanchard, Wayne Dyer, Melody Beattie, Thich Nhat Hanh and Norman Vincent Peale.
Try Healing Touch. This is a holistic energy therapy that supports a person’s own self-healing process of becoming whole in body, mind, emotion and spirit. Healing Touch restores harmony, energy and balance within the human energy system.
Talk to a professional. A therapist or life coach can be helpful when a person is stuck or can’t seem to restore balance and happiness in their lives. A professional can listen and promote “shifting” that restores and renews the mind and therefore the body.
Expand your network. Connecting with others who re-enforce your personal and professional success and growth helps promote healing and provides a means to share with others and make new friends.
Spend time making your home or office a sanctuary. Take time to put the love and attention into your physical environment. Every action takes energy. What you may not know is that actions you DON’T take use energy as well—mental energy, emotional energy, and energy that could be used in a more positive way. The disorganized office you’ve been meaning to clean up distracts you and drains your energy. A home that is cluttered and disorganized, or not decorated in a way that nurtures and inspires you is a drain. The appliances that need repair or upgrading is a drain. Make your physical environment a priority and see how much more energized and inspired your day becomes!
Take a news-fast. Stay away from all negative news and television programming. This kind of input brings our energy down, creates fear, anxiety and confusion and steers our focus off the positive. Most spiritual teachers, healers and even integrated doctors, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, suggest a news fast, even temporarily, just to preserve a positive state of mind.
Surround yourself with supportive, nurturing people. This strategy has the same benefits and purpose as the news fast. Consider reducing time with people who drain you and increasing time with those who fuel you.