Reducing Stress & Improving Health: Well it’s been far too long since my last post. Much has happened, and much has been learned. I am very excited to start our new year with the following short list of simple actions anyone can take to “Take Care,” enjoy.
I am hearing more and more lately, “take care of yourself”, but what does that really mean? A patient asked me the other day, “what can I do to take better care of myself”? I’m in the health business, so I quickly put together and went over a list of simple things my patient could do. This got me thinking how many other people are searching for the same answers? With times as they are, stress and worry on the rise, lots of people are must be wondering, “what can I do to feel better and stay healthier”? The following is a short list of actions anyone can take towards reducing stress and improving their health:
1. Breathe:“To breathe is to live, to under breathe is to slowly die”. Here is what happens when your under stress: the diaphragm tightens along with other muscles important to proper breathing. As this happens you begin to breathe more shallowly. Shallow breathing results in less oxygen in your blood for all your cells to use. This causes your cells to slow down metabolic function resulting in thing like; fatigue, loss of strength, brain fog, mild depression, the list could go on and on. So, what to do… simple… Deep (Diaphragmatic) breathing exercises. Here is how: stand tall, raise both outstretched arms with palms down to the side while inhaling deeply thru the nose (only lift arms to shoulder height), hold breath 5 seconds, exhale completely thru open mouth while lowering arms back to sides, repeat 3 to 5 times. This can be done several times a day.
2. Eat: Comfort foods… that’s what we eat when stressed. Sugars, fats, caffeine, alcohol consumption goes way up. When stressed, what you should do is; drink more pure water, eat more fresh and whole foods; fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, health fats, and when in doubt take a high quality multivitamin/multi-mineral.
3. Sleep: NASA has studied the cumulative negative effects of sleep deprivation. The average adult requires 6-9 hours of quality sleep every 24 hours. Each of us knows our magic amount of sleep, at which we feel rested. That level of rest is vital to overall health. So put down the blackberry and hit the sack.
4. Move: The more stressed the body becomes, the more stiff it becomes, causing a cascade of negative health effects. To combat this downward spiral, you have to move it. Stretch, walk, play some hoops, just take it easy and do it often.
5. Enjoy:Dr.Norman Cousins proved that laughter boosts the immune system and thus boosts health, it can even cure disease, just imagine how many it can prevent. So, just make a little time each day to enjoy life and do the thing(s) that make you happy, you’ll feel better and live healthier!