7 tips to reduce stress

Stress often gets a bad rap, but it is an important component to our survival.  It has helped trigger our fight or flight response in times of need. The problem is that nowadays, stressors look much different and happen much more frequently than they ever did beforeStress becomes problematic and can lead to many different health issues when it becomes chronic.  It’s important to manage stress on a daily basis to ensure our stress response doesn’t become overworked and can respond appropriately in times of need. Find 7 tips to help manage stress on daily basis 

  1. Balance Cortisol throughout the day: Cortisol is a powerful hormone, critical for healthy energy levels, appetite, digestion, mood, and sleep.  There is a natural cortisol rhythm, high in the morning and low in the evening supporting waking up and falling asleep.  But modern lifestyles have increased daily stressors which can easily disrupt this cortisol rhythm. Cortisol balance is essential to overall health, and chronically high, as well as chronically low cortisol levels can be problematic. 

  2. Include Adaptogens: Adaptogens have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. They are a unique class of healing plants or mushrooms that increase the body's resistance to stress and promote homeostasis, or balance, in the body.  Adaptogens are working behind the scenes to adapt their function according to your body’s specific needs.

  3. Eat organic, unprocessed foods: Toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are sprayed on non-organic crops and the chemicals used in processed foods put unnecessary stress on the body. Organic and unprocessed foods reduce the exposure to harmful chemicals that can impact the gut, brain, endocrine and nervous system.

  4. Try to get adequate sleep at night: Sleep is a time when our body rids itself of toxins and excess hormones and repairs cellular damage, and therefore promotes recovery. We neglect all these functions when we skimp on sleep.  Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 

  5. Water: Water makes up about 60-70% of our bodies.  It is found in every single tissue and organ and is required for every single function in the body.  Not consuming enough water puts additional stress and strain on the entire body.  Aim to get a minimum of 8 glasses of good quality filtered water, free from heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine and industrial chemicals each day to feel your best. 

  6. Get adequate movement daily: Moving your body has been shown to have a positive impact on stress.  It’s also a great way to get your mind off of things.  Find movements that you enjoy, even better if you can try them outside.  Find a good hike with a friend, dance with your kids, take a jog with a loved one or try a new yoga class.  

  7. Breathe: The autonomic nervous system can either be in a sympathetic state which promotes fight or flight or a parasympathetic state which promotes rest and relaxation. You can shift the body from a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state with just a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Try this 5 times for a noticeable emotional and physical shift. 

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