By Daniel Lucas ….
It’s no secret that stress can be a killer to our health. Stress can manifest instantly, and it can slowly grind people down over time. Cortisol, a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland, is released when we are stressed. Cortisol increases blood pressure and releases glucose into our bloodstream. It’s apart of the “fight or flight” response. It also suppresses the immune system, to save energy for dealing with the stressor. In an evolutionary sense, our stress response was designed for emergencies only. However, if you are experiencing highly elevated stress levels on a daily basis, cortisol will wreak havoc on your system.
Imagine trying to drive a car by pushing on the gas and the break at the same time. How long could that possibly work? And yet, if you are constantly flooding your system with Cortisol in response to stress, and at the same time suppressing your immune system, you’re basically doing the same thing.
Let’s cut to the chase, stress happens in our busy lives. If something is stressing you out, you have to deal with it! As scary as it can be, sometimes you have to step into the fire and take focused action to resolve a situation. But how do we release stress afterwards? Really, I’m asking you how do YOU de-stress? Do you have a strategy? Are you doing it enough? There is nothing more important to your health and longevity.
Here is a quick de-stress cheat sheet (try them all and see what works!):
- Diaphragm & 3-Dimensional Breathing
- Meditation Sleep
- Cut down on stimulants
- Move slowly and consciously
- Eat nutritious whole foods
- Focus on someone else. Love them!
- Forgive–and move on.
- Be present & honest with friends.
- Turn off the TV!*Listen to music.
- Take a nap or take a vacation.
- Just take a walk.
- Get a massage.
- Alter your exercise & training program to incorporate more de-stressing work.
And the list goes on. Doing the things that help you to feel great have to be a priority as important as your work. Below is a link to a video of my friend Karen Atkins explaining how to balance your right and left brain hemispheres. Done consistently I’ve found this to be a nice way to de-stress and it’s super simple to do.