You’re Not Stressed Are You?

You’re Not Stressed Are You? Small amounts of stress are good for you.  Stress comes in good forms such as marriage, starting a new job, having a baby, moving, etc.  It also comes in bad forms such as losing a job, divorce, death of a loved one, etc.  When our stress becomes chronic and ongoing is when it is a problem.  This puts many parts of our body, including our adrenal glands and our nervous system, into a state of working over time all the time.  Adrenal glands produce hormones that are vital to life.  If they become exhausted, it can become a life-threatening issue.  We all know how important our nervous system is due to our work with Dr Dodie!

There are many ways to help manage the stress in your life and your body. I’m going to cover some of my favourite ways!

First, having an attitude of gratitude plays a huge role in managing our stress.  When we are focused on being grateful for what we have in our life, it helps to take our focus off things that are not going as we would like.  It is also my belief and my experience that being grateful for what we have allows more things to be grateful for to come into our lives.  Being grateful also helps us to feel happier.  Now that’s a win/win!

The next thing that really helps with managing stress is doing deep belly breathing.  I invite you to try this little “test” and see what happens for you.  Stand in front of a mirror and take a deep breath.  What did you notice?  Did your shoulders raise up and your chest puff out or did your belly expand?  Now, place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly and take a deep breath through your nose so that the air flows deep into your belly for the count of 3 or more seconds.  Your belly should inflate and become bigger as you breathe in.  Hold that breath for 3 or more seconds and then slowly release that breath through your mouth for a count of 3 or more seconds.  Your belly should deflate and get smaller as you breathe out.  Deep belly breathing engages the diaphragm which helps the lungs to expand and allow more air in as well as contract and push more air out.  The importance of getting more air out is that it allows more fresh air and, therefore, oxygen, to get into your lungs.  Do this deep belly breathing often throughout the day and especially when you are feeling stressed and feel the difference in your body and your stress levels.  Here is a visual to help you see what belly breathing should look like in your body.

Another great way to manage stress is via Yoga poses.  Yoga also incorporates deep belly breathing so it is a double whammy to stress!  A lot of people believe that they must be flexible to do Yoga, but that is just not the case!  You start where you are and become more flexible over time as you practice the poses.  There are also tons of modifications that can be done for the various poses that make Yoga for pretty well every body and everybody!  You can even do chair Yoga at your desk to keep your body moving and limber throughout the day while you are at work if you are a desk worker.  Below you will find some possible chair Yoga poses for you to test out.  There are also lots of types of Yoga classes you can take such as chair, hatha, ashtanga, power, restorative, etc.  I encourage you to research some different types and see which one is for you.

Another favourite de-stressor for me is to hike and/or walk in nature.  The beauty of nature adds to this stress release activity!  It is especially beneficial if there is a nice rain falling as this creates negative ions for us to breathe in.  Negative ions help to fight free radicals which are created in our body.  A simplistic way of looking at free radicals is to look at what happens in a car when fuel is combined with oxygen to burn.  As it does this, it produces exhaust.  A similar process happens in our body when glucose from the foods we eat combines with oxygen to burn and make energy for us.  Our bodies’ by product of this process are free radicals.

These attach to cells and wreak havoc.  Negative ions attached to the free radicals and neutralize them.  Antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, and supplements also neutralize free radicals.  Anyway, back to hiking and walking!  Walking is one of the best forms of exercise!  It is inexpensive as all it requires are a good pair of walking shoes.  It helps to burn fat and is great for the heart!  Exercise is our natural de-stressor as well as a natural anti-depressant!  EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a special way of tapping on specific parts of the body to help release limiting beliefs and emotions from your body.  It is highly effective and you can perform it for yourself once you know where on your body and the way in which it is done.  If you’d love more information about it, please contact me (contact information below) and we can chat more about it.  A very specialized form of this treatment is also conducted by Dr. Dodie and is called NET (Neuro-Emotional Technique).  It is performed on the spine.  Please speak with her for more information if you are interested in this technique.  Below you will find a picture of the locations to perform EFT on your body.

As I mentioned, what we eat plays a big role in our stress levels.  Consider that if you are eating highly processed foods and adding toxins to your body that you are adding more stress to the mix as your body must work hard to process these substances and rid your body of them.  When it can’t rid your body of them, these toxins are stored in fat.

Stress also makes us fat because it causes the adrenal glands to excrete more cortisol.  Cortisol leads to visceral fat storage which is the fat around your internal organs that you can’t see.  This is the dangerous fat that leads to heart attacks!  Excess cortisol also leads to many other health issues including blood sugar imbalance and diabetes, immune system suppression, digestive issues, fertility problems, etc.

It is important to flood our body with the nutrients that it needs from fruits, vegetables, and supplements as opposed to the empty calories that are found in processed foods.  I also believe that it is important to supplement to ensure that the body gets all the nutrients that it needs since our food just doesn’t have the nutrients that it used to for various reasons including picking too early, depleted soil, modern farming practices, and spraying crops with pesticides.  Some of my favourite supplements include the Complete Essentials with IsaGenesis for Women or Men, Cleanse for Life, and Ionix Supreme.

The Complete Essentials with IsaGenesis come in convenient morning and mid-afternoon packs so you just open them up and take the supplements contained within.  In this respect you don’t need to sort out what to take and when.  It’s all prepared for you!  They also travel really well.  The IsaGenesis contains nutrients which protect the telomeres on our DNA and help to promote healthy aging.  They are available in formulas for Men and for Women as we each have unique requirements when it comes to supplementation.

Cleanse for Life is a tonic of herbs, antioxidants, and other natural ingredients that assists the body to perform its natural detoxing functions and is especially great at helping the body get rid of visceral fat.  This takes stress off the heart and also lightens the load of the liver so that it can perform other very important body functions.

Ionix Supreme is my absolute favourite thing!  I take it every single day!  It contains antioxidants and  adaptogenic herbs which do a number of things for our body including giving it energy, helping it to relax, and assisting it in combating stress.  It is these herbs that adapt to give our body what it needs based on when it is taken!  In the morning, they give energy and combat stress.  At night, just before bed, they help with sleep while still combating stress!  How cool is that!

If you enjoyed this information and/or would love to walk with me on a journey to finding your unique path for healing, please contact me at 613-540-4515 or tracy@pathsforhealing.com.  I’d love to walk with you!