Stress Be Gone: Part One
How each of us deals with, wrestles with, and otherwise manages (on our best days) the various kinds of stress in our life, is a huge subject. Sometimes we just plow through and hope for the best. Sometimes we are brought to a standstill by the effects of stress by either a onetime health episode or chronic health problems. Sometimes just renewing our arsenal of tricks is all we need, if we are in the process of being pro-active about dealing with our stress.
The next two blog posts will address some very easy and quickly adapted tips that might find their way into your personal bag of tricks. Here’s the wish that you are able to learn more about yourself, to dive deeper into an enlightened state with yourself, by managing your stress in kind and loving ways.
Interesting and Inspiring Facts about Stress:
- The color blue has a calming effect. It causes the brain to release calming hormones
- When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.
- Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.
- Stress is manageable, workable, and reversible
The important connection between diet and stress cannot be “stressed” enough. If the food you eat is imperative to your overall everyday health, then it may very well save your life in times of stress. Eating high fat, sugary, fried foods, and/or drinking and smoking while experiencing stress, is literally proving to be like playing Russian roulette: it will definitely catch up with you and harm you greatly.
Caffeine: overstimulates the adrenals which are responsible for the hormonal “flight or fight” response in the body.
Alcohol: Spikes sugar levels in blood, bogs down liver function needed for immune system, disturbs sleep patterns, causes depression, reduces ability to judge situations rationally – things feel worse than they really are.
Salt: triggers hypertension; restricted salt intake allows kidneys to remove stress hormones from the bloodstream at a faster rate.
Sugar: Exacerbates mood swings – gets you high, then you crash.
Trans fats: greasy fried foods clog liver function, reduce circulation and raise blood pressure.
Animal foods: High-protein foods elevate brain levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which are associated with higher levels of anxiety and stress.
Stock your pantry with these foods to help you stave off stress and enhance your beauty and well being
Wild Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids fight depression
Oatmeal: Carbs produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for calm, relaxed feelings. Whole grains and complex carbohydrates are better than sugary carbs.
Walnuts: contain Omega 3s, as well as L-arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide, a chemical that allows blood vessels to relax.
Dark Chocolate: Feel good chemicals in it are for real: anandamide and phenylethylamine calm the mind and lower blood pressure.
Sweet Potatoes: a great low calorie, starchy food that boosts serotonin levels; also contains beta carotenes, free radical scavenger that protects from sun damage.
Milk/Cheese/Yogurt: High calcium intake reduces PMS symptoms and may even alleviate them altogether.
Blueberries: Number one in antioxidants (supports immune system), and potassium which helps lower blood pressure.
Asparagus/Chickpeas: high in folic acid, which helps stabilize moods. The body converts folic acid into serotonin.
Many plant essences can help to bring on a calm, relaxed state of mind. Aromatherapy is simple to do: just dip a cottonball in the essences and inhale. You can find them on line or at your localhealth food store. Organic is best, when available.
Basil – this can be used to sharpen concentration and alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Also good tohelp relieve headaches and migraines. (Should be avoided during pregnancy)
Bergamot – Useful for the digestive tract and for treating upset stomach from stress. Also good for working with sadness.
Frankincense – Aids meditation, fortifies and quiets the mind. Good for mitigating grief and nervous tension. Its comforting action is helpful for anxious and obsessive states linked to the past.
Ylang Ylang – antidepressant, good for panic attacks; its exotic floral scent acts as a mild sedative.
Eucalyptus – Stimulating and cleansing, commonly combined with peppermint and used when feeling sluggish and low of energy. Helps with headaches, and fevers that burn as a result of fatigue or stress.
Clary Sage – Deeply relaxing and euphoric. Eases feelings of depression and helps when feeling run down emotionally and physically, helps with mental fatigue. (Avoid during pregnancy)
Lavender – It helps relieve headache and migraine symptoms, as well as insomnia. Excellent for bringing about a state of calm and relaxation.
Cypress – helps to build emotional and mental resolve. It has a calming and soothing effect on irritability and anger.
Lemon – used to give a mood-lift, and bring about clarity; restores vitality, and works as an overall tonic to uplift and energize.