The sun is out in Texas! We are such wimps 🙂 compared to you Rocky Mountain and North U.S. folks! Next thing you know we will be complaining about it being to hot! Seriously though, if you live in the cold climates with very little sun make sure and get your Vitamin D levels tested every year and stay on top of your supplements to keep that immune system up.
This is the final in the series “Why Do I Get Sick, Age and Get Disease”. I could probably do a year-long series but I picked the top four to help you focus on one area at a time. Let’s review what we have talked about.
- Genetics- we now know we are not our genetic destiny. We can “influence” our genes to take a healthier pathway.
- Inflammation – the #1 contributor to age related diseases
- Free Radical Damage – we can be rusting on the inside and not even know it! Antioxidants are a key component to slowing down the aging process.
- Stress – today’s topic is crucial to get on top of if we want to slow down and reverse aging.
I do consulting for an insurance company and talk to clients all over the U.S. All of these clients work full time and the majority of them are women. I have an hour to dive into lifestyle, foods, exercise and stress levels with each one and not ONE person has listed their stress at less than “7” on a scale of 1-10. We are living in a sea of stress!! The top reasons why are; commute times, poor eating habits, no exercise, family and extended family commitments. Some we have control over, some we don’t
Our bodies all respond to stress in different ways. In doing genetic testing it’s fascinating to see how one person’s body has the ability to handle stress while the other one cannot. This has to do with our production of neurotransmitters, primarily serotonin, GABA and dopamine. These neurotransmitters, when in good supply, help us deal with the stressors in life. In low supply we become very anxious, depressed, develop “gut” issues, high blood pressure etc. etc.
Take a look at our presidents to get a good idea of how stress can affect the body. In four or eight years most of them turn completely grey, they age on their skin and you can visibly see the toll it takes. Let’s explore some tips to lower stress in YOUR life!
5 Tips to Lower Stress
- Sleep – ok, I can hear some of you saying “if only I COULD sleep!” Develop a regular bedtime if possible and have a routine prior to going to bed. Some people takes baths, some meditate, some pray, some do yoga, some read. Turn off the TV or iPad at least 30 minutes before you close your eyes. Try taking 800mg calcium and 400mg magnesium 30 minutes before bed to relax muscles and nerves.
- Exercise – it’s incredible for relieving stress by raising endorphins and removing cortisol from the body. Do ANYTHING to move your body even if it’s just taking the stairs or parking at the far end of the parking lot.
- Clean eating – start with small steps so you don’t stress yourself out more! Make a “green” smoothie in the morning, use a meal prep Sunday to take the pressure off the week days, buy a Bento box and fill it full of fruits and veggies the night before work, research how much you spend eating out and consider a home delivery program (average $10 a meal).
- Meditation or Prayer- this has been scientifically proven to lower stress. It has been shown to lower blood pressure with only 15 minutes per day. Get up 15 minutes earlier and have that be your first activity of the day.
- Play! – if you don’t have a hobby (or say you don’t have time for one) start now! I talk to people who work all week and work all weekend on bills, cleaning house, laundry etc. etc. Delegate some of these tasks so you can play for at least 1/2 a day on your days off.
Those are a few ideas and I’m sure you have more. I would love to hear what you do to lower your stress, please leave comments!
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