Who doesn’t.  Everyone has stress to some degree. We live in a world where we are constantly on the go regardless of our place in it and we don’t always see eye to eye with everyone or everything in it.  For the fun of it, I decided to look up to see how stress is defined these days in a good old dictionary and this is what I found.

A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression. (thefreedictionary.com)

The reality is most people do not see a connection between stress and their health.   Stress can be paralyzing and deadly.  Day to day anxieties, depression, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, eczema and digestive issues can all be side effects from it.   Stress often says that it is ok to overindulge in food and drink, which only feeds into the unhealthy nature of it.  Stress is the enemy.  Instead of giving stress all the power, take back what is rightfully yours and put stress in its place.

Here are a few tips that everyone should take to put stress on the back burner where it belongs.

1-     Start by do something nice for yourself once a week and make a mental note of it.  For ex. Take yourself to the movies, read a book you haven’t given yourself time for, get a massage, take a hike, make yourself a bubble bath.  The list can be endless, but obviously choose something that gives you joy.

2-     Make to do lists. This can help keep you organized and less overwhelmed.

3-     Wake up with an affirmation every morning. Look to Dr. Wayne Dyer or Louise Hay for more specific guidance with how to choose the right one for you in the moment.

4-     Start your day off with a good healthy breakfast by having a smoothie (Try the recipe under Help keep the men in your life healthy this Father’s day in the Recipe blog section)

5-     Put on soothing or joyful music in the car or at home to help lighten your mood during your day.

6-     Journal.  It is a safe place to write anything you feel and allows you to release the negative emotions instead of holding on to it.  It may also bring new insight to a particular situation allowing you to process it better.

7-     Get a good night sleep by getting to bed at a decent hour.  If there are issues with your sleep you must get help with this.  I often suggest an herbal supplement which typically does the trick.  However, hormonal, adrenal and/or blood sugar imbalances could be the culprit in insomnia which is why everyone needs to be evaluated individually.

8-     Listen to your body. Take a time out in your day if you feel that you are getting overwhelmed and tense and just focus on your breath. I instruct some patients to set an alarm on their phone to remind them to take 10 deep breaths throughout the day to re-center them.

9-     Acupuncture.  If the stress is unmanageable I recommend that patients return for a set of acupuncture treatments, which helps physically and emotionally calm the body.

10-  Neurotransmitter herbal support and testing.  Sometimes I will recommend utilizing a specific test to help me determine how your body responds to stress by evaluating the most common neurotransmitters that influence the stress response and mood.  The results help with the guidance of which neurotransmitters need adjusting.  Implementing specific herbal formulations and vitamins typically does the trick.