The perils of modern life seem to be lurking in the hallways of our psyche through the pathways of stress. When one thinks of defining stress it is hard to pinpoint where it actually resides. Symptoms of stress are so global that they affect all areas of a person’s functioning from headaches to digestive issues, depression and a feeling of impending doom. Typically when a person is feeling stressed it is because there are some areas of their life that feel off balance and they are not coping as well as they could and should under different circumstances.
This is a key factor to keep in mind when it comes to handling stress. Often when we feel powerless and a loss of control the sensations increase and the body responds by throwing out more cortisol to deal with the threat.
When the body is experiencing stress it is in a total fight or flight mode and it has no way of knowing what the dangers are and when the dangers may subside. It is the heightened cortisol that damages the cells in the body and creates the illnesses that we experience that are a result of stress.
It is imperative to understand how stress manifests’ itself so that we are aware of all the possibilities that are there for us to counteract the cellular damage that the cortisol is creating.
The stress hormone can be directly reduced by the following simple ways:
- Breathing – breath work through 5 minutes of daily meditation
- Attitude adjustment that says “this too shall pass” keeping in mind that all events are of a transitory nature
- Exercise regularly. Exercise boosts our immune system and directly reduces cortisol in the body
- Brain training to balance the brain – Neurofeedback is a treatment modality that helps the brain to be retrained so that the brain regulates itself and does allow stress to dysregulate the other body functions. Neurofeedback works to regulate the entire brain so not only does it help with the stress, but it also helps with anxiety, depression, sleep irregularity and headaches. Neurofeedback is a way we are teaching our brain to meditate and balance itself
- Eat fresh, healthy foods that are all colors of the rainbow. Fresh foods have antioxidant qualities that boost the cells back to health and get rid of the oxidative stress that the cells are experiencing. Fresh greens essentially flush out the stress from the body!
- Dance and do social activities that rejuvenate the brain and then you will feel happier since the brain likes it when we create new adventures that excite and delight our senses.
Stress is an inevitable part of our day-to-day life and how we manage it truly determines the quality of our life and the joy and meaning we are able to tease into each day. Research has shown that the people that are the happiest are people that actually give back more than take. Do not let stress overpower you – instead look for ways you can try to make a difference in your community. This is the best stress buster of all!