Stress – A Modern Epidemic
Our modern lifestyles may be contributing to many health complaints commonly seen today. Many of us experience some form of stress; 9 out of 10 Australians report being stressed and 41% of people feel they experience unhealthy levels of stress. Stress and the body’s response to it can affect people in different ways. Small amounts of stress that are easily resolved can help to keep us motivated and achieve our goals. The difference with long term or chronic stress is that it can affect the whole body in a negative way.
Looking for the ‘Off’ Button
Stress can affect each of us differently. Perhaps you are suffering from anxiety, feeling worried, depressed or irritable; even feeling exhausted and overwhelmed can indicate you are under stress. As well as affecting your ability to cope, stress may also be causing a disruption to your health. When under stress for a length of time, you may be more susceptible to tension headaches, high blood pressure, frequent colds and flus, digestive disorders or a worsening of an existing condition. So you can see, there are many reasons why it is so important to manage your stress now, before it starts impacting your health and wellbeing.
How Resilience Begins
Some people seem to deal with stress better than others. That doesn’t mean that the rest of us need to continue suffering. The ability to increase your resilience to stress is something that can be learned and helped with key supplements, combining specific ingredients to support your body’s individual stress response system.
Dis-Stressed to De-Stressed
Go from ‘dis-stressed’ to ‘de-stressed’ with the help of herbs and nutrients:
• Rhodiola and withania are ‘adaptogen’ herbs which enhance the body’s resilience to stress. Rhodiola has been shown to reduce both physical and mental fatigue during times of stress. Withania can reduce the stress hormone cortisol via its effect on the adrenal glands, thereby having a protective effect in chronic stress.
• The herbs, passionflower, zizyphus and magnolia have been traditionally used in Western medicine for reducing stress, anxiety, insomnia and nervous tension.
• St John’s wort is well-known for supporting healthy mood and protecting against the effects of stress.
• Magnesium, glutamine and B vitamins are used in abundance during times of stress, when the body’s requirement for these key nutrients is increased. Magnesium assists in muscle relaxation and calms the nervous system
Lifestyle Tips to Help Manage Stress
Managing your stress is essential for long term health and vitality. With the support of your Practitioner, a variety of stress relief techniques can be introduced, in conjunction with a healthy eating plan to help you stress less. These may include:
1. Exercise: Daily movement is essential for brain health. Aerobic exercise including running, swimming or walking is proven to decrease stress hormones.
2. Enjoy the benefits of spending some time in the sun. Being in nature for 30 minutes per day can help reduce stress hormones and assist recovery after a stressful situation.
3. Meditation and/or yoga can help to increase relaxation whilst benefiting not just the mind, but also the body. Learning to unwind is important for reducing stress.
4. Favourite pastime: create time for YOU! Do something that you love, like listening to music, enjoying a candle lit bath, watching a movie, or starting a creative project – these fun activities can help you become more tolerant of everyday stress.
5. Get creative and express yourself in as many different ways as feels good; singing, dancing, and art projects are but a few ways to do this.
6. Eat seasonally, fresh and organic as much as possible. Include protein at every meal with a variety of fruit and vegetables.
7. Include good fats such as omega 3s from fish, nuts and seeds, and olive oil to help with brain health and mood regulation.
8. Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses per day and avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, sugar and salt.
Stress Less for Good Health
Our modern lifestyle is inescapable. The stress of it however, is manageable. You can become more resilient to the symptoms and long term effects of stress through the aid of individualised lifestyle and dietary changes, together with key natural medicines. Supporting a healthy stress response will allow you to feel more energised, resilient and ready to tackle life, so you can maintain the state of health and wellness that you deserve.