Applying some of these in your life will lead to a happier, healthier, stress-free lifestyle:
Massage Aromatherapy Chiropractic
Detox Bath Dry Skin Brush Technique
Exercise Vitamins, Supplements & Herb Teas
Water Deep Breathing
Morning Sunshine Sleep Laughter
Affection Trust in God House Plants
Creative Expression Music Journaling
Massage: This may be the most enjoyable way to reduce stress. There are many types of massage that are designed to reduce muscle tension, release toxins and put you in a state of relaxation. Massage reduces the effects of chronic stress such as prolonged muscle tension and contraction. Never underestimate the power of touch. If you do not have the funds ask your significant other to rub your feet, head, or shoulders for 10-15 minutes. It is relaxing and rejuvenating. A therapeutic massage stimulates the skin and is linked to affection. It releases chemicals in your brain, endorphins, and can help with stress, depression, and strengthens your immune system. It relaxes muscles, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, and can alleviate pain in migraine sufferers. See more benefits of massage at www.LamkinCottage.com
Did you know? Massage Gift Certificates can be e-mailed to you and billed to a credit card.
Pam facilitates 45 minute Stress Relief Workshops for clubs, churches, and in the workplace. Email LamkinCottage@comcast.net for details.
Aromatherapy: Essential oils bypass rational thought and go straight to the limbic brain where they positively affect your mood and emotions. Calming & stress relieving: Lavender, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, & Geranium. Marjoram quiets anxiety
Detox Baths are wonderfully healing in several ways, and are very easy to do at home. Massage Therapy Institute suggests soaking the whole body in 1 cup each baking soda and Epsom salts in a hot bath for 20-40 minutes. Magnesium in the Epsom salts is a natural stress reliever. Hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin, according to Naturopath Dr. Hazel Parcells. Baking soda is said to help eliminate the chlorine in the water, as well as soften the water, and help the body to absorb the magnesium. Another benefit is relief from joint and muscle pain, especially after a deep-tissue massage. Some clients who previously experienced mild “hurts so good” pain after massage have reported no pain at all when they have taken the detox bath the evening of the massage. Note: If you are diabetic, pregnant, have high blood pressure or any other medical condition for which you are uncertain of possible contraindications, please check with your doctor before using this detox bath combination.
Dry Skin Brush Technique creates an uplifting mood and relieves stress by increasing circulation in the body.
Note: Get your dry skin brush at Lamkin Cottage. E-mail Pam LamkinCottage@comcast.net for an instruction booklet with details of more than a dozen benefits of dry skin brushing.
Exercise releases endorphins (feel good chemicals released in the brain) that give your brain a quick battery re-charge. Exercise is vitally important in fighting stress. When stressed the physiology of the body goes into survival mode. It increases your heart rate, releases sugar and cholesterol into the blood for immediate energy to run or fight. (Fight or Flight Response) When prolonged these things become problematic. Exercise helps burn the extra energy and strengthens the heart so it takes less effort to pump the same amount of blood to the tissues. Talk with Arnie at Nor Cal Fit, Stan at Iron Dragon Kenpo Karate or Randy of Fitness Pro in Galt to set up a structured exercise program tailored to your needs, or make a commitment to do some type exercise you really like and will do consistenly.
Arnie at Nor Cal Fit, Galt and Elk Grove: http://www.norcalfit.net/training.html
Master Stan Toscano, Iron Dragon Kenpo Karate
Randy at Fitness Pro, Galt and Lodi: http://www.fitnessprolodi.com/
Vitamins & Supplements that reduce stress: B vitamins, especially B6 & B12, Vitamins A, C, E, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, and others. Adrenal Gland supplements and 5-HTP (Be sure to ask a professional, check with your doctor, and investigate contraindications).
Herb teas – Chamomile, a stress-reducer, can help you sleep; Mint tea is calming.
Resource: Lee at Elk Grove Vitamins: http://elkgrovevitamins.com/
A Dozen Free Stress Reducers:
Water: “Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels,” says Amanda Carlson, RD, director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance, a trainer of world-class athletes. “Cortisol is one of those stress hormones. Staying in a good hydrated status can keep your stress levels down. When you don’t give your body the fluids it needs, you’re putting stress on it, and it’s going to respond to that.” Some suggest working up to a daily consumption of one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. Others suggesting drinking enough to keep the urine pale.
Deep-breathing: Short shallow breaths, common when we are stressed, actually produce more stress! So, take a look at one of these deep-breathing tutorials:
Morning sunshine increases serotonin production and therefore reduces stress.
Nutrition: Many of us when we are stressed go to the “comfort foods” that are loaded with sugar, fat and salt. These foods give instant gratification because the insulin secreted will cause a spike in serotonin, (the feel good hormone). Then, a few minutes later, the crash comes and the guilt sets in. This adds to the stress you already carry. Practice stopping the cycle. Choose foods and snacks that build you up not break you down. Staying with natural, whole foods will give the body the nutrients necessary to fight off the effects of stress and heal the body.
Sleep: A lack of sleep can diminish mental performance including poor memory and loss of focus. It can also make you more prone to heart problems, cancers, diabetes and obesity. Making sure you get adequate rest so your mind and body can replenish and heal effectively. Stress is reduced when you get 7-9 hours of sleep (especially between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. when your adrenal glands re-charge).
Laughter works as a shut-off valve that reduces the level of stress hormones. Laughter also increases the level of endorphins, and gives you a more light-hearted spirit. (Tip: choose comedy when watching tv or movies) Discover some things that make you laugh out loud, then do so often.
Affection: Warm affection, such as smiling at each other, or offering a reassuring hug, measurable reduces stress by reducing the prime stress neurochemical cortisol.
Trust in God: In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, subjects were shown an audio-video program designed to increase trust in God and decrease mistrust in God. Participants in the two-week program reported significant increases in trust in God as well as clinically and statistically significant decreases in intolerance of uncertainty, worry and stress.
Houseplants: Researchers believe that just seeing greenery calms us down.
Creative Expression: The activity of being creative in some way that enriches the soul can be a great way to relieve stress. Discover and indulge in your passions such as art, hobbies, creative writing, gardening, etc.
Music: You can listen to your favorite artist or soothing nature sounds. It is relaxing and rejuvenating. Choose soothing positive music to help reduce stress. Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level, according to studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems (as published in Medical Science Monitor)
Journaling: Self knowledge is a great way to combat stress. Writing down your emotions and thoughts will help you explore them and become comfortable with yourself, drastically reducing stress. When you know who you are and are comfortable in your skin anxiety, worry, and self doubt will disappear and help you feel confident and secure.
Thankfulness: Research about the connection between gratitude and physical well-being resulted in participants reporting higher energy and a positive mood – including lower levels of depression and stress, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic views of one’s life, and better duration and quality of sleep.
Disclaimer: The links listed after each stress-reducing idea are the results of a Google search about the topics, and are not guaranteed to be comprehensive, nor have they been verified to be completely accurate. Be sure to discuss all health concerns with a medical professional, and to do your own research to discover options tailored to your particular needs.