Stress: The Silent Enemy

It is important to pay attention to your body. You and your body speak a language only the two of you can understand (sometimes you and your mom too) and the body does not like to be ignored, it can react poorly when that happens. So like every other relationship, you and your body have to communicate effectively in order to live a happy and healthy life.

Living in New York City I have realized that there is a certain level of stress that everyone is subjected to. It’s almost like a tax you must pay to live here, and it’s worth it because the city is great! But too much of anything can be bad, and stress is not exempt from that rule! The truth is an excess amount of stress can manifest physically, become chronic and begin to effect your life and that of those around you negatively. Luckily, with the proper techniques you can combat stress and take back your life and joy!

When we talk about stress and feeling “stressed out” generally we are speaking about exhaustion. You know that feeling, when you want nothing but your couch or bed. When even coffee won’t due, you have to face the facts, you are stressed! Ironically, sleep isn’t the cure all. Sleeping for a few extra hours to catch up may work for a few day but if you revert back to the same behavior, you will end up in the same situation.

In order to defeat stress, exhaustion, and all that comes with it you need to change up your routine and make a real commitment to change. Today you are in luck! I am going to walk through a few things I do to make sure everything stays on the up and up…

Symptoms of stress and exhaustion are memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, poor performance, irritability, and insomnia. It is important to identify these behaviors within yourself and be able to understand the root. Here are 3 things I do to help reduce stress:

• Exercise: Start with the “hormone of happiness”— Endorphins. Exercising for at least 30 minutes daily will release endorphins which will make you feel refreshed both physically and mentally.

• Food: Your diet is intimately related to how you feel. Things like fast food, fried foods, white flour, artificial sweeteners, sodas and sweets will not help in reducing your stress. It’s strange they are usually the things we reach for when we are feeling stressed out and tired, but they are the worst for you! Instead try reaching for healthy, nutritious, and filling foods. Whole grains, wheat seeds, raw vegetables, fruits and herbal teas are a far better choice and you will feel the difference immediately! No more midday slumps at work, no more sugar withdrawals! Just a well fed, energized, happy version of yourself!

• Laugh: My final tip to you is to laugh! Laughter releases endorphins just like exercising, but they have to be real laughs. I mean the sort of laughter that makes it hard to catch your breath, makes you double over, and uncontainable! Laughter like this can lead to a better heart rate, greater pulmonary function and blood pressure.

Along with these 3 tips that I swear by, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention unplugging. Turn off your TV’s, close the laptops, and put your phone on do not disturb for a few hours. There is no need to escape to the country and isolate yourself and ban technology from your life, but a few hours tech free can be great for ones over all health and functioning. We have become people connected 24/7 and no one can go that long without losing it just a bit.

Take time this week to implement at least one of these tips and see how it works out for you. Hang out with your family, get a pedicure, read for pleasure, or just take a cat nap! Try it out, and each week add something else into your rotation.

If you have anything you do to de-stress let me know… I’d love to hear about how you unwind!