Inability to manage weight, headaches, problems sleeping – well, actually most any health issue can be related to chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels. Momentary stress is good for giving us the blast of adrenaline we need to get out of the way of danger, even to focus on a work project or take care of our self and our family’s needs. It is the way of living within a ‘constant low-grade state of emergency’ which has become the ‘norm’ for so many of us that can wreak havoc on our health, and even affect our joy for living this gift of life. Would you like some ‘doable’ ways to slow down the fires of ‘burn out’ that we discussed in our article on Chronic Stress? As well we will look at some adaptogen herbs that can offer a boost for managing cortisol while we re-create our lifestyle with less stress. Dr. Axe shares some beautiful ways to Bust Stress – links to the original articles are below.
Decrease Stress in Your Life – Stress can be linked to weight gain, heart disease and depression. It increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and osteoporosis. Stress impairs cognitive function over time, reducing creativity, memory and problem-solving skills. Headaches, sexual dysfunction, irritability, problems sleeping and addictive behaviors are often stress-related. The degree of stress we experience on a daily basis might be a cultural norm, but personal priorities, personal choices and our purposeful reactions to stress can limit the negative health effects of stress.
Pick a few of these suggestions below to reduce stress in your life and promote health and healing in your body.
1.Spiritual triathlon. This is my personal method for keeping my focus throughout the day. Every morning when I wake up, I spend five minutes saying all that I am grateful for, five minutes in healing prayer, and five minutes reading my Bible or something inspirational.
2.Schedule relaxation. Write it down in your planner, and stick to it. Make time at least once a week to do something you love — something that refreshes you. Maybe that’s a game of tennis, spending an hour alone with a good book or taking a yoga class.
3.Take a deep breath. Try deep breathing for a few minutes every day. Tighten and release muscles. Hum to release nitric oxide and improve blood pressure.
4.Just say “no.” I promise it’s OK! Don’t spread yourself too thin or you won’t be able to give 100 percent of your efforts to any of the tasks you attempt. Your value does not depend upon how much you do for others at the expense of your own time, relationships and health.
5.Ask yourself why. The next time you’re racing around trying to accomplish too many things in too short a time, ask yourself why you’re doing it, who it really serves, what belief it’s based on, whether this feeling is really what you want, whether this is a value or principle you want to base your life on. “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
6.Use your senses. Find colors that soothe you, and wear fabrics that please you. Take a scented bath or play music you love. Paint, get a massage or take a walk in the woods. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” ~Hilary Cooper
You can check out Dr. Axe’s other suggestions in his original article. Now let’s look into Adaptogen herbs.