Stress reduction tips
Stress can be one of the biggest offenders that contributes to poor health, in fact, every major diagnosed disease has stress as a common denominator*. One of the main mechanisms that’s currently understood when it comes to stress and poor health has to do with the effects stress has on the immune system. Our immune systems are essential to maintaining health and fighting off or modulating disease. When stress, emotional, physical or biochemical in nature, is poorly managed it will begin to down regulate or over stimulate the immune system. These are two ends of the spectrum that will result in health symptoms and conditions. Finding a way to manage stress that resinates for you is one of the best things you can do for improving your current health as well as your future well-being, easier said than done:)
Quick tips to reduce stress:
- Walking - Can help balance your circadian rhythm. This can translate into better cortisol (stress hormone) regulation.
- Eating - Eat at the right times of day, not all day and not all night**. This too helps set your circadian rhythm keeping cortisol in its happy place and keeping your waistline in check.
- Sleep - Getting “adequate” sleep is key and this might look different for everyone. Some people need 7.5 hours and others do better with 9 hours or somewhere in-between. Guess what, sleep is also connected to your circadian rhythm, are you starting to see a commonality here:)
- Meditation or reflection time - Call it what you will, you need to take a few minutes every day to breathe deeply and focus on nothing. This can help get you into a parasympathetic, rest and digest state. We need to be intentional about getting out of the fight or flight sympathetic dominant patterns that so many of us gravitate towards, this is the pattern that allows stress to precipitate.
- Removing overly processed foods - Eating is complicated and it can make or break someones health. Become more aware of how your body feels/reacts when you feed it good wholesome minimally processed foods compared to fast foods and overly processed items like breads, pastries and snack foods. If the foods aren’t agreeing with you, they are causing a stress on the digestive system and body as a whole.
These should offer a great starting place for most people, jump in and see what benefits you notice:)