Reduce stress with a little education and practice
There are many ways to reduce stress because there are many causes of stress that are unique to each person.
1. Avoid the Highs and Lows of Dietary Stress
The average consumption of sugar has increased from 12 to 150 pounds per year. This accompanies the prediction that 1 out of 3 born in our times will have adult onset diabetes at some time in their lives. The increased sugar in our bloodstream creates an insulin imbalance that creates an excited- up feeling with too much sugar followed by the low of too little blood sugar. This may cause tremor, sweating, headache, anxiety, depression, impatience, irritability and difficulty concentrating. This may be corrected with nutritional counseling. Try using complex carbohydrates, (whole grain breads, barley, and couscous) fruit, healthy fats (avoid vegetable oils and trans fats) found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and coconut products. This will help you feel satisfied and use less sugar and avoid the dietary highs and lows.
2. Try Natural Medicines and Supplements
For those of you who feel anxiety or depression, there are a variety of herbs, amino acids, vitamins and energy medicines that may help.
Valerian root is an old herbal standby found in many supplement formulae’s to help with insomnia. It is often combined with passionflower and magnesium for muscle relaxation.
The amino acid 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan helps to naturally build the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps both anxiety and depression and I have found it may replace the pharmaceutical antidepressants in the right circumstances.
Flower essences and homeopathic remedies (see “What is Homeopathy” article) are safe, easy to use and cost effective natural substances that can yield wonderful results. I suggested the flower essence Walnut to a patient who was undergoing a big change in her life that was keeping her from sleeping. Gentian for discouragement and Gorse for the feelings of helplessness are commonly prescribed. The homeopathic remedy Ignatia has calmed down the upset feeling in people who suffered from an acute loss of a job, loved one, or the shock of hearing bad news .The opportunity for us to use Mother Nature’s gifts to heal is becoming more available.
Find a physician who is trained and experienced in natural medicines and work with him/her as a team to reduce your use of pharmaceuticals as appropriate and promote your wellness.
3. Exercise – but don’t overdo it!
Studies show that a little exercise can go a long way towards preventing heart disease – the number one killer of both men and women!
The amazing conclusion from this graph is that with a little aerobic exercise i.e., walking, the death rate drops immediately! Exercise is also shown to reduce cancer and aid in weight loss. You don’t have to overdo it. Just do something. With a little professional training, you can add flexibility, weight training, and balance work without hurting yourself.
4. Breathing and Relaxation = Goodbye Stress
This is probably the quickest way I know of to stop the stress response we call the “flight or fight response” right in its tracks. Our bodies are wired to respond to emergencies automatically by preparing our heart, blood pressure, endocrine glands, muscles, and all our organs to fight or run away from danger. But does following the stock market or driving a car or going to work or participating in home life look like this kind of danger? Usually not! So how can we shut off this automatic nervous system of ours? We do it by learning and practicing a simple breathing technique called Abdominal Breathing. I have witnessed many a patient calm down from anxiety in my office as we go through some simple steps involving inhalation and exhalation in a measured, quiet, and smooth way, avoiding pauses or irregularities in the breath. We have taught little children who are restless to focus on their breathe and be able to fall asleep at night and we have helped patients in psychotherapy encountering difficult emotional times use breathing as a tool to allow them to relax and integrate what they are feeling and learning.
Learn a breathing technique and make it your friend.
5. Calming Thoughts–Create Peace of Mind
In the right time and the right place, I have found that there are some thoughts and attitudes that can bring instantaneous peace of mind.
1. Helping others – whenever I become nervous before a lecture, I find that if I focus my mind on the idea of offering the lecture as a way of helping, then I immediately lose nervousness about pride or failure. It shifts to a sense of excitement and creativity and fun and joy. Joy allows total creativity because the sages say “joy knows no bounds” i.e. it brings us outside the everyday limits of our personality.
Take the focus off yourself and think of helping others. This may help the stress drain away.
2. Trust in the rightness of things – most people believe in a creator but don’t seem to give this Authority the credibility to know what is right for his/her life! If you are a person who believes in a divine presence, then trust that your plan is the right one for you in this lifetime. This is the kind of trust that can bring a deep relaxation to the individual because they are connected from within even as the tides may rage around them from without.
3. Fulfill your potential – every soul on earth is said to have a special mission- a unique contribution to make. The traditions say that each of us is given a unique set of skills and circumstances to make our own mark on the world that no one else can make. No one can have a conversation or draw or sing or write or carve or do anything exactly like you because you are unique. Begin making that special contribution that awaits you with your life.
Remind yourself of this during the day, and feel uplifted and renewed and reoriented toward your true Self.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief discussion about stress reduction. I have a lot more information for each of the above modules. I personally use the above suggestions. I use nutrition, exercise, breathing and the calming techniques in my daily lifestyle. I add the natural medicines when working on a personal symptom or promoting greater wellness. Please read, learn, try things out and see what works for you. A little education and practice will take you a long way.
To your good health,
Jerry Gore M.D.
Dr. Gore offers the above modules as an expanded program to:
1. Corporations (Stress Reduction in the Workplace)
2. Community wellness lectures
3. Individual patients seeking holistic medical care or wellness counseling and/or coaching.
4. Phone consultation as a holistic medical educator or wellness coach.
Questions, comments please call or use the website………