The sources of the stress that we experience in our lives are sometimes not always obvious, but the effects in how it plays out in our life are often times very obvious. Stress can affect the body on so many different levels ranging from improper digestion, to poor assimilation of nutrients as well as even to what effect it can have on our lifespan; getting our ability to handle stress under control is crucial. Now the term Stress can mean different things to various types of people in the world but it usually is linked to a physical, emotional, social disruption or stimulus that is associated with our inability to function and manage our daily lives because of it. But if the stress has been coming on more stronger than before and if you feel like there is no way to deal with it, there are some holistic solutions that have shown beneficial and effective when used consistently.
Foods That Protect Us Internally From Stress.
Interestingly enough, foods can be both the solution as to how we cope with stress and at the same time a cause as to why we may react negatively to the effects of stress. We will discuss this later. Not only what we eat; but how it is prepared makes all the difference when dealing with stressors. As a general rule the surest way to deal with stressors internally is to have at least 50% to 75% of your daily food intake to be comprised of fresh raw food and vegetables. While we may have said this before, it bears saying it again because these foods contain the micro-nutrients, minerals, flavonoids and vital life force energy that help to protect and stimulate the body as well as the nervous system. Eating excessively fried and cooked food with no raw food intake has been linked to depression and excessive stress. What’s the best way to move forward? Start with taking in foods that are high in Vitamin’s A, B, C, D, E, contain selenium, magnesium, iron, zinc, healthy fats, antioxidants and contain sources of clean protein. These can be found in foods like: all berries, cacao, maca, avocados, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, garlic, oatmeal, oranges, apples, beets, spinach and asparagus as well. Herbs that have shown promise in helping you deal with stress properly are Ashwaganda-an Ayurvedic herb that acts as a sedative on the nervous system and in addition to this, Skullcap. While coping with stress will take more than food, it is important that the foods be right while working on whatever you can externally to deal with stress the most positive way possible.
Not Always Obvious.
The way stress plays out in our lives is not always obvious; while on the surface it may appear as only one thing, often times it is the surface level experience of what the stress looks like. To get to the cause of what is causing the stress, a deeper look has to be taken. It has already been medically documented that chronic stress that is not kept in check can lead to weight gain, the inability to lose weight, high blood pressure, heart disease and other illnesses. Money issues, work, the economy, family responsibilities, toxic relationships and a deep rooted feeling of unhappiness are often at the root of why many people are sick, but many fail to understand this and many not be aware of just exactly how stressed out they are. In order to fully heal from the stressors we experience we have to start looking at all of these facets around us in order to work on each section one-by one in order to lessen the stress in our lives.
Holistic Pathways to Success.
In addition to the foods that we eat, we can further our progress Holistically so that we can be covered on all sides making our best effort to take control of our lives and not to become victims of every event that we are presented with.
- Believe In Yourself.
Set realistic goals you know that you can accomplish, make a list of past accomplishments and never forget how good you felt when you did it. Seek supports by meeting new friends and reconnecting with ones you haven’t spoken to in a while (skipping the ones who cause you stress).
- Exercise is a Natural Wonder Drug.
People who exercise and are more physically active are less anxious, less depressed, are more resilient to stressors and stressful situations and have lower stress hormones in the body and inflammation internally. These people also tend to produce endorphins, which are the feel-happy chemicals that exist in the body; these levels remain elevated even for hours after exercising. These people tend to get better sleep as well which has been shown to lower stress levels.
- Come Into the Present Moment.
Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Transcendental Meditation and physical stretching and awareness like Yoga can serve as major stress disruptors in your life. Practice these as often as you can.
- Staying on Task and Getting Organized.
Clear unnecessary thoughts from the mind, thought and feelings that no longer serve you. In addition to this, organize and clean your home and work space. Eliminate the need to buy things that you don’t really need and reach out for outside help if need be.
Admittedly, some of the stressors may run deep, but this is a great place to start. Just taking control of some of these items listed here can help and go a long way. There is no time like the present to gain control and to prevent the effects of stress taking over our life than now. With health to you and your loved ones.
-Dr. Daud Scott- N.D.;CHNP.
*Take a deeper dive with your health and wellness and get your copy of ‘Spark of Life’, written by Dr. Scott. ‘Spark of Life’ takes you on a journey of true Naturopathic healing that addresses our state of nutrition, movement and mindset, all the while offering concrete solutions that you can apply to your life the first day you read it. Get your copy today.