Stress Less or Less Stress?

Stress is the number 1 killer.  It’s the Bonnie to the Clyde’s of Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s & Dementia.  Stress drives up inflammation causing a cascade that acts like a flash flood throughout the entire body.  Your age and genetic susceptibility (like if your house was built in the flood zone or above it) will determine how well you handle the flash flood and stress.  Remember, stress isn’t only physical stress.  It includes mental stress from things like work, school or money, emotional stress from relationships, and physical stress from things like eating junk foods or getting sick.

  • Best ways to combat stress:
    • Meditate.  You don’t need to be travel to India or Thailand, stay at a monestary or ashram and study directly with the monks and yogi’s to meditate.  Online programs that teach mindfulness, mantra, & guided meditation can be found easily just by searching or checking out YouTube.  Or look for Qi Gong, Tai Chi or Yoga classes which are more active forms of meditation.
    • Breathe.  Have you ever sat working at your computer, under a deadline, hunched over your computer and noticed how shallow your breath is?  Or, when you experience deep grief or anger, it’s hard to catch your breath?  Breathing is naturally part of meditation.  But if you aren’t able to step away for dedicated meditation time, placing your attention on how you breathe can help instantly shift your physiological and mental state to handle stress better.
    • Exercise.  It’s not just for good looks, strong cardiovascular health, weight maintenance, and for aging gracefully.  Exercise helps decrease extra cortisol that may be hanging around from stress.  This helps keep your cells sensitive to glucose (important for blood sugar regulation & energy) and thyroid function.
  • Herbs to take the stress away:
    • Lavender:  we couldn’t forget this majestic herb.
    • Rosemary:  maybe not in the same class as Lavender, Rosemary is the perfect herb for boosting brain function (like memory) and decreasing inflammation.
    • Ashwaganda:  Ayurvedic herb that makes an excellent rejuvenating tonic.  This herb is perfect for rebuilding your inner vitality that may have been dulled by stress.
    • Devil’s Club:  A plant that looks like it came straight out of the Jurassic era, Devil’s club was traditionally used by NW tribes.  Seen as a protector plant, this herb helps protect you from stress.
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