Stress is such a commonly used word, but what does it really mean? How does stress affect us and what can we do about it. Stress can be the cause of so many health conditions, lost days of work, irritability with those we love, and general unhappiness. Certain herbs, vitamins, minerals and techniques can help calm your body so you are better able to deal with the stresses that come your way.
Some of the more common symptoms of stress are: fatigue, headaches, irritability, stomach aches, heartburn, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, cramping, indigestion, insomnia, food reactions, hives, weight gain, weight loss, and lowered immune function. Stress can effect any one in any part of the body as we all deal with life differently; we all hold our stress in different parts of our body.
Some supplements that can be useful for stress are: The B vitamins (B complex), vitamin C, Calcium-Magnesium, and EFA’s (essential fatty acids). EFA’s are oils like, flax, fish and 3-6-9 oil; they are the "good fats". Many essential nutrients are depleted when we are stressed, especially Magnesium. This mineral helps to calm the muscles and nerves, making you less jumpy, less quick to anger, while reducing cramping and chocolate cravings. Dark Chocolate is a great source of Magnesium. There are many great herbs you can take for stress: St John’s Wort, Kava Kava, 5-HTP and more; do not take any of these three if on an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. Homeopathic remedies can also work well. Remedies such as, Calms Forte, Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower are good for calming during a crisis; Coffea Cruda works to help shut off your mind so you can sleep.
There are many techniques we can use for stress: deep breathing, time out, counting, walking, a hobby, talking to a friend, exercise, watching a funny movie, dancing, singing and meditation. Deep breathing is practiced by expanding the whole torso while breathing in, filling the lungs with air, and then releasing it slowly. Take a class or read a book to help learn a hobby, meditation or an attitude change. Learn to release anger in a healthy productive way. Get a pet. Spending time with a pet has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase immune and a sense of well being. A cat’s purring is on the right decibel for healing, yet we are still trying to understand how they purr.
Watch your diet. Too much caffeine, sugar and white flour products (which immediately turn to sugar in the body) can make you tense and irritable. Going without food for hours causes your blood sugar to drop, making you light headed, nauseous and irritable. Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, efa’s and good quality proteins. Drink more pure water.
Our genetics determine the form of disease and what part of the body is affected. Diet, and the amount of stress and how we let that stress affect us, determines whether we develop that disease. If we cannot change the stress, we have to learn how to live with it. You can learn to be happy while dealing with the everyday stress of life.