Dr. Wilson’s Guide to De-stressing
During these stressful times it is vitally important that you look after your health. Stress intensifies the demands on your body – nutrients are used up faster than they can be replaced by food, toxic by-products rapidly build up, and every organ and gland (including your brain) is asked to work harder. Just imagine the difference between the requirements of driving of your car around town at 30 miles an hour and around a racetrack at 180 miles an hour. During stress your body is in a race, and to finish the race in good shape it is essential to pay attention to what your body needs and to step up your level of self care.
Because I have dealt successfully with the impact of stress on the human body for many years, please let me share with you some of the most valuable information I have learned. In my book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, I wrote in detail about how to minimize the impact of stress on health because the onset of adrenal fatigue is usually preceded by periods of stress. Please read or, if you have already read the book, reread Chapter 12 on Lifestyle and Chapter 13 on Food.
In the time since the book was published, I have learned more and developed better tools to combat the destructive effects stress and avoid adrenal fatigue and other health problems related to stress. I’d like to offer you some of this expanded knowledge here. Keep in mind that, as a general rule, the better your overall health, the better you handle stress. I’m confident that when you follow my D-E-S-T-R-E-S-S guidelines below for protecting your health from stress, you will notice a real difference in how you feel and function.
Define who and what are important in your life and Decide to live accordingly.
Energize yourself with foods that nourish, and Exercise to increase circulation, optimize function and eliminate toxins. (read ch. 13)
Support your body with dietary Supplements designed specifically to help compensate for the effects of stress on your body and supply nutrients used up during stress.
Take Time to breathe deeply and fully, to find a moment of calm, and to enjoy something each day.
Reframe events that stress you in order to Release yourself from paralysis so you can discover what you can do, and how you can benefit from these events or turn them to your advantage.
Eliminate energy robbers and health drains, and Establish clear boundaries.
Sleep to give your body a chance to recharge and heal, and your mind a few moments of Silent Solace each day so you are refreshed and ready to take effective action.
Smile and See the Soul-fullness in your life. The physical action changes how you feel inside, which changes how you behave and how your body reacts.
Define What’s Important
In times of less, we often have to do without many of the material things we took for granted. It gives us a chance to re-evaluate who and what is important to our happiness and to focus on them. Imagine that today is the last day you’ll see the people in your life. How would you treat them differently? Imagine that everything is taken away from you – your health, your home, your work, your status, your possessions, and your faith. Which ones would you miss most. Which ones would you work hardest to regain? Decide to live in a way that corresponds to the answers you gave to these questions.
Sometimes instituting simple changes into your life, like eliminating caffeine because it makes you more nervous or sugar because it burns up nutrients, can have a huge payoff. Stress uses up nutrients at an extremely high rate. You can quickly become semi-malnourished from even moderately high stress, so it is important to eat as well as you can to provide the most nutrients to your body. Your body responds best when you eat regular, nourishing meals.
It often helps to plan nutritious meals and snacks ahead of time and then grocery shop once a week so you have healthy foods available for meals and snacks. Then it’s less likely you’ll grab junk food on the run because it’s fast. Instead, you’ll give your body the nourishment it needs to meet the demands you’re placing on it – without taking up too much time and probably for less money. In addition to good nutrition, enjoyable exercise (think making love, dancing, wrestling with your kids, playing a sport with friends – not just working out at the gym) reduces the detrimental impact of stress on your body. It not only helps normalize many bodily functions, but also eliminates toxins, increases energy, decreases depression and just makes you feel better about everything, especially yourself.
Eating in a way that helps maintain your body and provides the nourishment you need is especially important when you undergoing stressful times. During stress your body burns up many times the daily requirement of nutrients. That is one of the reasons why taking dietary supplements specifically designed to support and strengthen your body during stress can make such a difference.
For example, Adrenal Rebuilder provides bioavailable building blocks to help fortify your adrenal structure and function. Super Adrenal Stress Formula is designed to help you feel more energized, and remain clear-headed, focused and steady throughout the day.* Herbal Adrenal Support Formula is formulated with organically grown herbs specifically to help you stay in calm balance during the day and to sleep well at night.* Vitamin C is very important to healthy adrenal function, so Adrenal C Formula provides optimal amounts of vitamin C in a special format that works well during stress and adrenal fatigue.*
Change little things in the day to help you decrease stress – for example if you are always hurrying to work, leave five minutes earlier or however much time you need to get there without stressing about it. If you have to get up 15 minutes ahead of time, do it so that you can relax your way through the early hours rather than rushing and working yourself into a tizzy. On the way to work, forget the news. You can’t do anything about most things you hear except perhaps the traffic report. Play something you enjoy instead. Also, remember to breathe more deeply when at work. Breathing slowly in and out through your nose from your abdomen is automatically relaxing.
Most stress is due to the internal interpretation of the things that happen to you. Reframing how you view things helps tremendously in decreasing the stress you experience. If, for example, you are afraid of losing your job, your nervousness may actually cause you to behave in ways that lead to losing your job. However, if you become proactive instead of reacting in fear, it’s more likely you will experience a better outcome.
To release yourself from the paralysis and destructive emotional reactions that often arise from unpleasant events or the anticipation of those events, it is necessary to open yourself to possibility. When you look back on how your life has gone, you will probably find that sometimes a difficult event or disappointment lead to something unexpectedly good. Reframing allows you to invite the possibility of something good into your life, of seeing opportunity rather than disaster looming ahead. Your body will react accordingly and alter the level of stress you experience, both physically and mentally.
Eliminate Energy Robbers
It’s very important to distinguish between things in your life that are contributing to your health and things that are detracting from it. It can be certain people, situations or environments that drain your energy or stress you. Take some time to notice each day what makes you feel energized and what makes you feel tired, depressed, angry or helpless. Once you become aware of them, take definite steps to eliminate the energy robbers in your life.
Make a commitment to yourself to establish clear boundaries that curtail their ability to take up your time, energy and emotional space. This means both outer boundaries, like limiting the amount of contact you have with someone and avoiding certain situations, and inner boundaries, like focusing on something useful or positive instead of negative thoughts about yourself and others. Take every opportunity to bring more into your life of what makes you happy, energized and feel good.
Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of reducing the effects of stress on your body. During sleep your body does most of its healing, repairing and replenishing. You may be surprised at what a difference eight to nine hours of good quality, restful sleep a night can make to your health and sense of well-being. Taking Herbal Adrenal Support Formula half an hour before bedtime, along with 400 mgs of magnesium citrate, helps your body to relax so you can get good restful sleep.
If you find you need even more help, adding 3-5 mgs of melatonin will often allow you to sleep more deeply. As sleep is a renewing time for your body, so periods of silent solace – whether they are in the form of prayer, meditation, peaceful contemplation of nature, or quiet concentration on music, art or a physical activity like sports or dance – become a source of renewal for your heart and mind. Every aspect of you needs rest and respite in order to become refreshed and ready to carry on.
In a recent study subjects who made the physical action of smiling – even though it was just from holding a pencil in their mouths without any emotional content – reported feeling happier than those who didn’t make this facial gesture under the same conditions. Take the opportunity to smile, even when you don’t think you have anything to smile about. The physical action changes how you feel inside, and that changes how you behave and how your body reacts.
Look a little deeper at the people, places and events around you, and try to see their soulful qualities enriching your life. Feel a smile growing inside you in as you become aware of the soul-fullness of life with all its ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, absurdities and beauty. Allow yourself a soulful smile and your body and mind will respond.
This crisis will end but the stresses of life will continue. It is important that you take care of yourself now to not just survive, but to strengthen your health during this time so you will always be ready for whatever lies ahead.