By Eileen Johnson

I took a very deep breath before beginning this article as I considered the thousands of ways one can define, perceive, and cope with stressors in one’s life. For this article, I have named simple lifestyle changes that may help to effectively manage negative reactions to everyday stressors.  As always, please remember that this information is not meant to take the place of a practitioner’s advice or prescription medicines

  • How might chronic negative stress affect your life?
    • Chronic stress can increase blood sugar and dampen the ability of the body cells to use dietary carbohydrates. This can precede type two diabetes.
    • There is a loose link between stress, the release of more “free fatty acids” in the body and a disposition to diabetes. This link is presently under study.
    •  The body tears down muscle as an energy source during prolonged stress.
    • Stress Increases adrenal hormones that promote fluid retention
    • It taxes the immune system, limiting its normal duties as “surveyor” of the bodies defense system
  • What are some simple ways of coping with everyday life stressors?
    • Enliven your diet!
  • Choose low glycemic index foods, which raise your blood sugar more slowly than high glycemic food. (Check out the website com for more information) Eating low glycemic foods helps keep blood sugar stable, in turn helping to balance mood and energy.
  • Increase your antioxidant foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables – 5-10 servings are great. Negative stress can increase the production of free radical toxins in the body; antioxidants will help the liver to clear them faster.
  • Small protein snacks between meals will help keep your blood sugar level all day, relieve fatigue and decrease tearing down of muscle
  • Choose fats carefully, emphasizing the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats like fish and flax, and the Omega 9 fat olive oil. For mood response, look for omega 3 fatty acid supplements that emphasize the EPA content. The right oils can supply energy while under stress.
  • Eat whole grains, avoiding processed white sugar and flour that can make blood sugar levels erratic. This also can potentially decrease the flow of insulin from the pancreas that in high amounts can be inflammatory.
  • Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables and moderate amounts of fresh raw nuts.
    • Bodywork practices that can help
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi and qi gong
  • Homeopathy
  • Massage
  • Exercise helps lower blood sugar, induces calming endorphins and, with a healthy diet, can increase your energy and resistance to debilitating stress
  • Acupuncture, healing touch and Reiki are all energy practices that can move stress energy off the body, promote a relaxed response to negative events and a more refreshing sleep.
  • BREATHE -Take 5-10 minutes each day to take some deep, cleansing breaths. This helps to relax the body and alkalinize the blood.
    • Supplements have been used to relieve stress
  • Rhodiola
  • Homeopathics
  • Bach flower
  • Holy basil
  • B vitamins
  • GABA amino acid
    • It’s the simple things that count!
  • Rent some funny movies!
  • Call or meet a friend!
  • Put on music and dance with your children!
  • Take a soothing Epsom salt bath
  • Go for a walk – Even if it’s raining!

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